rman poet Heinrich Heine once warned, “Where they burn books, they’re going to within the end also burn people.”
In Pakistan’s case, we might not be burning books, but we are banning them. From banning online apps to games, from media censorship to censoring books, Pakistan is on a downward spiral. consistent with Geo, the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB) banned 100 school books during a single day for holding content deemed “anti-national” and “blasphemous”.
“We are currently examining over 10,000 books being taught privately schools,” said PCTB director Rai Manzoor Hussain Nasir. “So the banned textbooks might be in thousands once we are done.”
Rai is taking these steps under the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Act, 2015, which was gone by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. It seems that both the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and therefore the PML-N don’t value critical thinking and fundamental freedom.
This policy may be a complete disaster. We saw what happened under the Zia regime back within the 1980s when our curriculum was infused with extremist ideology. It changed our society and led to intolerance. Now we are seeing a repetition of something along an equivalent lines. Rai Manzoor features a problem with a book of mathematics where counting concepts were explained to the young students showing pictures of pigs. He also features a problem with Gandhi’s quotes being taught in another book. Gandhi was India’s founding father but he fought for the rights of Muslims in India and was consequently killed by an RSS extremist for propagating peaceful co-existence with the Muslim minority. Are we demonising someone simply because we would like to ascertain him from the prism of animosity towards India?
If we would like to stay our youngsters isolated during a globalised world by teaching them only about ourselves, and not any non-Pakistanis, the answer wasn’t to ban books with Gandhi’s quotes but probably to feature more quotes from Pakistani historical figures. can we not want to show our youngsters about the struggles of Mandela , who is sort of often quoted by Prime Minister Imran Khan? Banning books or removing quotes of non-Pakistanis is ridiculous at the best and dangerous within the future . the trail we are taking today will impact our coming generations.
The power of deciding curriculum and books may be a grave power. For it to be within the hands of somebody who is not any Chomsky or the other learned figure, we must raise our voice at this grave injustice that’s being inflicted upon our future generations. Our national interests aren’t so weak that they’re going to be endangered by some quotes from non-Pakistanis. But it seems that we would like to ban critical thinking. we would like to ban the inspiration of learning, i.e. asking questions and being inquisitive. we would like to supply robots rather than intelligent citizenry . We must resist this sort of indoctrination. Closed minds cannot lead this country to progress. Stifling freedom of expression and censoring books will push Pakistan back by decades. allow us to not go down this dark path.