After dropping India’s first Prime Minister from textbooks altogether, students in Rajasthan will now be reading a fictional letter from a cow in class V textbooks.
The state, which is the only one to have an entire ministry dedicated to the cow called the “Gopalan ministry”, has already come under criticism for removing references to Jawaharlal Nehru and Nathuram Godse in school textbooks.
The step to include this letter will only come as a further indication of the much-talked about saffronisation of education in India.
The letter is written from the perspective of a cow, and addresses students as “my sons and daughters”, as it stresses upon the advantages of considering cow as one’s mother.
Published in the Times Of India, it reportedly says:
“I give every individual strength, intelligence, long life, health, happiness and prosperity. Those who feel (my importance) consider me as their mother and I love them like my offspring. I produce the elixir of life in the form of milk, butter and ghee. My urine and excreta produces medicines, fertilisers and pesticides. My offspring, bullock, helps you in agriculture. I also purify environment by breathing.”
The chapter, dedicated to conveying the cow’s message to students, also contains pictures with Hindu gods in a larger image of a cow. It tells children about the benefits of respecting the cow as their mother. Thankfully it is meant for reading only, and has no weightage in exams.
The cow minister of the state, Otaram Dewasi was elated over the step, and told The Times Of India that,
“This is a positive move towards creating awareness on the benefits of the cow.”