Thousands of Indians have called for a reform of the country's education system, claiming that textbooks are teaching children an inaccurate version of history. The hashtag 'Save Our Children' was trending in the country on 11 April as thousands posted images of what they say are inaccurate or biased pieces of information printed in Indian text books.
The social media campaign was sparked by protests from India's Congress Party over the exclusion of their president, Sonia Gandhi, from a high school text book. The leader of the party's Telangana party said that Gandhi had been ignored for her role in the formation of the Telangana state, with the textbook only giving credit to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and their chief minister, K Chandrashekar Rao.
Uttam Kumar Reddy, president of the Congress Telangana unit, said: "This is a fascist tendency and demonstrates autocratic and dictatorial attitude of KCR. The Congress Party will not tolerate this behaviour." Reddy insisted that the state of Telangana would not have been formed without Gandhi and that Congress had been fighting for the formation of the state before TRS was formed.
However, many appeared to have hit out at Congress through the #SaveOurChildren campaign, accusing the party of manipulating and distorting textbook history to suit their party. Others have complained that too much emphasis has been placed on certain aspects of history, while others have been ignored completely.
The social media campaign was originally launched by news curating website OpIndia on 26 February after the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani, read out textbook passages in Indian Parliament. The textbook passages reportedly highlighted India in a poor light in regards to the ongoing conflict with Pakistan over the region of Kashmir.
Launching the #SaveOurChildren campaign, OpIndia's editor wrote: "Several facets of the history, geography, economics and civics we teach our children are written by agenda merchants, pop historians, and establishment professionals, who made careers out of carving out a neo-Anglican narrative, which constantly and purposely demeans the Indian dharmic narrative."