Braj Bihari Kumar, the chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview that students shouldn't be made aware of the history of communal and caste-based violence in India, lest they turn into 'activists' and stop being 'learners'.
"Class 6 textbook of social sciences mentions Hindu-Muslim riots, caste riots... They (the writers) want to create social activists rather than students or learners. Do you think anti-Muslim riots should be taught to class 6 or 7 students? Even in class 12, they shouldn't be taught," the 76-year-old told Hindustan Times.
Adding that the NCERT text books immediately needed an overhaul, Kumar also said that while violence and atrocities against Dalits are extensively spoken about, similar atrocities against 'so-called non-Dalits' aren't. "Is there a study? You are projecting one thing and not the other. We should have a total picture and study of conflict," he said.
Earlier this month, it was reported that in several editorials of his own publication Dialogue, Kumar has written that Narendra Modi is the 'best prime minister' and the 'worst victim of intolerance'.
The Indian Express reported that in one of the editorials, Kumar had written that caste had no roots in Hindu scriptures, and was in fact the doing of Arab and Turkish invaders. He wrote: "Aggressive anti-Hindu agenda of conversion of the Muslim rulers, their capture and sale of Hindus as slaves, etc., led lakhs of Hindus to run away to the forests for saving themselves; many started taking pig's flesh to avoid becoming Muslims; they, eventually, become Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes... A point, needing emphasis, is that caste in the present form, untouchability and intra-Hindu societal exploitation are entirely non-Hindu factors."
Kumar replaced eminent academic S.K. Thorat, who was appointed by the UPA government, as the ICSSR chief this month.
In his 'academic' journal Dialogue, Kumar had also sang praises for Prime Minister Modi was elected despite people lodging 'court cases' against him. "Obviously people of India did not believe Modi-baiters...," he wrote.
The Indian Express reports that Kumar is the ex-principal of Sao Change Government College, Tuensang (Nagaland), and Science College, Kohima. He has also written, edited and co-authored over 100 books.
Scroll reports that Kumar had the following to say about a majority of historians in India: "Our historians, being ignorant about their tradition and original source, Sanskrit, rely mostly on the writings of the biased and motivated Western historiographers. But in reality, it is their ideology-driven scholarship also which makes them averse to their culture and tradition."
ICSSR is a government body that is supposed to promote and encourage research in social sciences and Kumar will be at the helm of it.