I’ve read many, many books on the history of the Indian subcontinent by now. In school, every year we had a mandatory subject called Pakistan Studies in which we went through the history of the subcontinent in its gory details. The books were prescribed by the government, and had to be approved by some education committee or the other. Half of them seemed to have been written by blindly patriotic old men, embittered with old age and even those who knew the subject well did not know how to write. On top of that, it seemed that Pakistan Studies was hated by the teachers as well, and assigned to the ones incapable of teaching a ‘real’ subject. There were a few good teachers now and then, but the majority were drones who reduced the fascinating story of the subcontinent into a incomprehensible muddle. In class four, the earliest history class I can remember, the class would consist of reading from the book, then the teacher would ask questions verbatim from the book. Even at that time, I remember thinking that this is no way to go about teaching a subject.
There was not much improvement the rest of my school life though the book selection got better, with a few excellent ones creeping in. Still, a number of them were the “Pakistan good, India bad” sort of books. For more see The Subtle Subversion: The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan. [via “Procrastination”:http://www.zackvision.com/weblog/]
It’s not just the history books, but most of the other government proscribed books also. I can understand why the govt. would propagate s