The BJP regime in Madhya Pradesh has decided to ban nursery rhymes like Ba ba black sheep, Twinkle, Twinkle little star, Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Jack and Jill went up the Hill, from government schools because they are not sufficiently Indian. Instead, schools have been told to teach tales from the life of Ahilya Bai Holkar, the Indore ruler who reigned between 1767-1795 and built the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
The state’s education minister Narottam Mishra says: “We intend to Indianise our school curriculum. English poems written by foreigners will be replaced with Indian authors and Indian subjects. It will be beneficial for our children.”
Questions: Is the BJP right or is it just playing its old tricks? Should other States, including say Kerala, follow suit? Has learning Ba ba black sheep harmed you, your children or anybody you know in any way? Is this just Hindu revisionism or a well thought-out move to protect and promote our culture? Will Indianising our syllabi help or hurt our students to compete in the modern world? If it will help, shouldn’t the ban be applicable to private schools, too?