A Student of History

June 20, 2006

Where’s the Beef?

Filed under: What is History? — John Maass @ 6:41 pm

OK, that is an obvious pun for this story, in the Toronto Star, about the manipulation of the past to fit what is politically or socially needed for the present by powers that be.  This is a striking example, though.  The story is this:

References to the beef-eating past of ancient Hindus have been deleted from Indian school textbooks following a three-year campaign by Hindu hardliners. For almost a century, history books for primary and middle schools told how in ancient India, beef was considered a great delicacy among Hindus — especially among the highest caste — and how veal was offered to Hindu deities during special rituals.  The passages that offended the Hindus, who now shun beef, have been deleted from new versions of the books delivered to schoolchildren last week.

Every generation writes its own history, as its been said, and looks like in India it is true.

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