TODAY -

On misattribution and falsifying history
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: May 01, 2024 -



Coming to light at a time when the violent ethnic conflict that has been going between the Meetei and Kuki-Chin communities since May 3 last year has already created a deep sense of distrust among the people; it is understandable that attributing the Manipuri traditional game, Mukna Kangjei, to Mizoram in a book titled, "Learning Through Traditional Games" published by District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) which is under State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), New Delhi has caused quite a stir.

After the Education (S) Department Physical Education Teachers' Association in Imphal expressed strong disapproval of the misattribution, and called upon the relevant authorities to rectify the mistake while stressing the significance of ensuring precision in educational resources, particularly when it comes to imparting knowledge related to cultural heritage and tradition, the government of Manipur promptly wrote to the director of SCERT, New Delhi for addressing the inaccuracy.

At the same time, Union Minister of State for Education Dr RK Ranjan had issued a statement asking the officials of SCERT, New Delhi officials to rectify the mistake. Since it appears to be a genuine case of typing error or oversight in proofreading and not of any mala fide intention to mislead the people as the contents of the chapter in question clearly mention Manipur as the origin of this traditional game, and the officials of SCERT, New Delhi are said to have "taken note of the issue," the matter is expected to be resolved sooner than later.

All this has been made possible due to the collective effort of the alerted political parties, politicians and civil societies, even though some of them were completely wrong in accusing National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi for the goof-up instead of SCERT, New Delhi, which is an autonomous body under the government of Delhi tasked with admission, curriculum construction, course conduct, guidance, examination and certification of pre-service training programme in the area of pre-primary teacher education and elementary education.

Speaking of quick response to counter misleading information, we wonder how many of these political parties, politicians and civil societies are now going to speak up against the falsification of history, by none other than S Jaishanker, who is the External Affairs Minister in the government led by Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi.

Speaking on the topic of "North East India's Integration with South East Asia and Japan: Balancing economic ties and ecological conservation" during an event held at Kirori Mal College, Delhi University on April 29, Jaishanker unabashedly claimed that "partition of India in many ways broke the natural connectivity of the northeastern states and impacted the growth in the area due to political barriers as well as administrative issues" as if this region had been an intrinsic part of India all along.

Apart from nullifying the historical facts that this region, which originally consisted of different independent kingdoms, was never a part of India politically and not even administratively before its birth as a nation in 1947, it seems the government of India is trying to shift the weight of blame for underdevelopment in the region even after 75 years of integration through various means some of which are downright controversial till today, to the partitioning of the then British imperial domain for the creation of two independent nations: India and Pakistan.

It's true that legacy of the partition continues to impact the relations between the two neighbouring countries as well as the peace and stability in southern Asian region.

But what this partition has got to do with the present northeastern states of India when this region as a whole was not a part of India or Pakistan when they were created?

This is a question everyone needs to ask to seek an answer so as not to prevent any individual in high office from falsifying history to suit their own interest.

By the way, from the never-ending finger pointing at the Congress party for the lack of development in the region to holding the partition responsible for the underdevelopment in the same region, who is going to vouch it as a forward-looking "Act East" policy of the government of India?



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