The Daily Times reports today:
The government has made drastic changes in the new Pakistan Studies curriculum, including new chapters on the Musharraf governmentâ€™s economic and privatisation policies and â€œenlightened moderationâ€, and less biased explanations of the Two-Nation Theory and Partition.
The new National Curriculum for Pakistan Studies for grades IX and X explains the Two-Nation Theory and Pakistanâ€™s ideology â€œwith specific reference to the economic and social deprivation of Muslims in India,â€ an official involved with the formulation of the curriculum told Daily Times.
â€œAn effort has been made to exclude all such material that promotes prejudice against the non-Muslims of pre-partition India,â€ he said. â€œPakistanâ€™s ideology has been explained with reference to the pronouncements of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam,â€ he added.
This one is a step forward in the correct direction. If we can get rid of the rhetorical and biased reading of our history, there is a chance we would stop producing such droves of misguided young people – who are taught to hate other countries and religions – all in the name of nationalism. In that regard, it would be interesting to study how the explanation of the TNT based on “specific reference to the economic and social deprivation of Muslims in India” turns out – whether it is able to get rid of its current anti-Indian/anti-Hindu outlook or not. Before I have people protesting that it doesn’t, I would point them to this report: titled “The Subtle Subversion” which published a few years ago by SDPI. Spend a few minutes looking through this report and their shocking observations will also begin to haunt you.
Going back to the proposed changes, I would also like to see the persona of Quaid described in rather human terms in contrast to one of a deity or a miracle-worker. Further, I also hope his secular nationalist ideals are brought to the fore in their true colors. And not smudged over deliberately.
On another note, according to the news report the new curriculum seems to contain a lot of self-congratulatory and narcisstic material. But oh well, you can’t have the cake and eat it too!
Once the syllabi is out in the market, I would try to carry out a comparative analysis and make an attempt to determine the efficacy of the changes. Solely out of academic interest, if nothing else.