Author: Krishna Kumar
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143029053
Though India and Pakistan have a common past, the story of the freedom struggle is recounted in their school textbooks in vastly differing ways. In this, the first book of its kind, Krishna Kumar explains how the history texts of both countries selectively narrate incidents.
Though India and Pakistan have a common past, the story of the freedom struggle is recounted in their school textbooks in vastly differing ways. In this, the first book of its kind, Krishna Kumar explains how the history texts of both countries selectively narrate incidents or refrain from doing so for various ideological and cultural reasons.
In order to show how widely the two perceptions vary, the author compares the textbooks currently used in Indian and Pakistani schools. He examines the representation of major episodes - like the 1857 rebellion, Independence and Partition - and the portrayal of personalities like Gandhi and Jinnah. While the Pakistani texts, for example, depict Gandhi as a Hindu leader, Indian textbooks elevate him to a mythic status. Similarly, while the Pakistani books project Jinnah as a semi-divine visionary, the Indian ones refer to him with resentment.
The last part of the book analyses essays written on Partition by Indian and Pakistani schoolchildren. Not blighted by stock response, the essays, vibrant and spontaneous, touch on diverse topics like Kashmir, the futility of war and cricket.
By focusing on education and the young, 'Prejudice and Pride' holds out hope of reconciliation between the two countries. Original, objective and full of surprising insights, the book is bound to appeal to academicians and laymen alike.
A Pioneering, comparative study, Professor Krishna Kumar’s ‘Prejudice and Pride’ reveals ways in which school texts on the history of nationalism often inculcate chauvinistic, mutually-hostile stereotypes about each other in both India and Pakistan . . . I found particularly interesting, and at times somewhat hopeful, the section on student responses, in the form of essays on Partition written by pupils of select high schools in Delhi and Lahore, Illuminating and highly relevant.
—Sumit Sarkar, eminent Indian historian
This is a timely and well-executed study of the deep-seated biases that inform the teaching of history in India and Pakistan. . .One has to strongly endorse Professor Kumar’s plea to liberate the history of India’s and Pakistan’s contested nationalisms from the deadweight of unrelenting hostility and turn it instead into a vehicle for mutual understanding and lasting peace in the subcontinent.
—Ayesha Jalal, renowned Pakistani historian and
author of ‘The Sole Spokesman : Jinnah, the
Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan’
PART I : CHALLENGE OF THE PAST
2. Children and the Past
3. Frames of Popular Perception
4. Ideology and Textbooks
PART II : RIVAL HISTORIES
5. Freedom Struggle as a Narrative
6. A Beginning Located
7. Awakening and Anxiety
8. Unity and Break-Up
9. Contrary Imaginations
10. Glory and Grief: The Final Years
PART III : FUTURE PROSPECTS
11. Children Write About Partition
12. History and Peace
List of Textbooks