School curricula: ‘Hate content in textbooks has increased since 2009’

Published: August 31, 2012
As many as seven lessons with hate content are part of the 8th class Urdu curriculum for 2012-2013, compared to none in 2009, says the report. DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

As many as seven lessons with hate content are part of the 8th class Urdu curriculum for 2012-2013, compared to none in 2009, says the report. DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE


Hate content in textbooks used in the Punjab has increased from ‘45 lines in 2009 to 122 in 2012’, a content analysis report published by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) said on Thursday. The report titled Education or Promotion of Hatred was distributed at a conference, Biases in Textbooks and Education Policy, organised by the NCJP on Thursday.

The study examined 22 textbooks for the academic year 2012-13 in the Punjab and Sindh from classes 1 to 10.

The report says that one of the 30 chapters in the general knowledge textbooks for class 1 has content advocating intolerance. It says there has been a ‘marked increase’ in hate content in the curricula of classes 7 to 10.

In 2009-2011, it says, 12 chapters in various textbooks at these levels contained hate material. The number of such chapters has increased to 33.

As many as seven lessons with hate content are part of the 8th class Urdu curriculum for 2012-2013, compared to none in 2009, it says. It also says said that the number of such lessons in the Pakistan studies textbooks for classes 9 and 10 had increased to three in 2012 from none in 2009. It says that hate lessons that were part of the class 6 social studies and class 7 Islamiat books in 2009 had been excluded from the 2012 curricula.

Speaking at the launch Dr Mehdi Hasan, the School of Media and Communication dean at the Beaconhouse National University, said Muslims posed a greater danger to their fellow Muslims then to non Muslims in Pakistan.

He said, seminaries, where less than 4 per cent of the Pakistani children studied in Pakistan, did not pose a greater threat than schools, where hate material was being taught to students as young as to be in class 1.

He said, “Teaching students that a certain religion teaches ‘bad things’ is not just a violation of human rights but also a severe ethical violation.”

Dr Hasan said that a religious state was not a democratic state. He said that Pakistan had been established through a democratic process.

Wajahat Masood, an assistant professor at BNU, said future generations will likely judge the present as ‘sub-human and insensitive’.

He said hate content and distortion of history was evident in curricula as well as in Pakistani literature. Masood said that sectarian and religious discrimination should be recognised as ‘vulgar’ and discouraged.

Irfan Mufti, deputy director at the South Asia Partnership Pakistan, said that hate content in school syllabi spoke volume of an intolerant society.

“Hate content will turn our children into intolerant individuals,” he warned.

Dr Baela Raza Jamil, director of programmes at the Idara-i-Taleem-O-Aagahi highlighted the Compulsory Education Act that was passed recently by the Senate for Islamabad. She said the Act had failed to mention religion as a reason for which no discrimination would be allowed in provision of education.

‘She said after the devolution of powers to the provinces, each province was responsible for regulating its curricula.

Dr AH Nayyar, visiting professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, regretted that many such reports had been issued previously, but the matters had become worse instead of improving.

NCJP Executive Director Peter Jacob regretted that textbooks were being used to promote hatred in the country.

“Religious discrimination cannot be eliminated unless people working for it are demotivated,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2012.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • m.
    Aug 31, 2012 - 6:57AM

    the illustration is spot on


  • Abhijeet
    Aug 31, 2012 - 7:05AM

    Hate content inclusion is on the rise in India too. This probably serves the extremists on both sides.


  • Deepjyoti Gogoi
    Aug 31, 2012 - 8:47AM

    India needs to build Berlin wall on Bangladesh and Pakistan border.


  • Prany
    Aug 31, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Where is the evidence? Don’t make outlandish claims just to show sympanthies towards neighbours who have chosen to stew in their own juices.


  • Abhijeet
    Aug 31, 2012 - 11:18AM

    There are no outlandish claims. Just go and check the syllabus of government schools. They are trying to systematically brainwash Indian children.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Aug 31, 2012 - 11:49AM


    Hate content inclusion is on the rise
    in India too

    Really? Where?
    Any references?


  • jism
    Aug 31, 2012 - 12:02PM

    not bad,not bad at all.when will we hear again the ramblings on peace from Pakistan.
    and they want peace, but the actions are telling a whole different story.


  • Riaz Khan
    Aug 31, 2012 - 12:37PM

    Root cause of all the problems faced by us!


  • DG
    Aug 31, 2012 - 1:11PM

    @ Abhijeet

    In the event leftist dominating Indian education, your remark is surprising. Do you have examples ?

    My son completed school a couple of years back. I have not found any in CBSE. Do you have any specfic examples along with context ?


  • Umar Nisar
    Aug 31, 2012 - 2:04PM

    [email protected] indian comments….at least Pakistanis don’t pretend to be perfect


  • Z.Khan
    Aug 31, 2012 - 2:15PM

    The whole world is striving to bring harmony, love and understanding amongst human beings. Contrary to it, the study reveals hate spiral back home. Very sad and unfortunate state of affairs. What kind of nation we are? Where the intellectual and think tank talents of the country have disappeared. These are not the norms and ways to prosper in the world. Those resposible must pay heed to this dangerous phenomenon.


  • Tony Singh
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:11PM

    @Umar Nisar:
    While you may LOL at Indian comment, you should also read the statement of Lawyer representing the accuser in Rishma blasphemy case. That statement about supporting Mumtaz Qadri is more or less direct outcome of his education and upbringing.


  • Iron hand
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:18PM

    As the article confirms, the curriculum will continue to be hateful and intolerant, and even more so, because the society has already been turned hateful and intolerant over the past 30 years. The hateful and intolerant majority see nothing wrong with these textbooks.


  • Syed
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:19PM

    Who is behind this hatred? Please investigate the root cause and eliminate it. Even if it hurts the sentiments of our so called friends


  • Indian Wisdom
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:42PM

    R u really Indian??? Have u ever stayed/studied in India??? Please don’t give any statement just for the sake of making a point.


  • True blue BIHARI
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:44PM

    Whats wrong with you ET? Where are my comments?


  • Khalq e Khuda
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:54PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:

    Please go fight amongst yourself elsewhere. This report was compiled by a Pakistani and was reported for awareness of Pakistanis. Pakistanis are fighting this bigotry and contrary to what Indians think we are doing this to best of our abilities with meager resources in face of Saudi petro-dollars and US state machinery that chooses not to support democratic process.


  • AK
    Aug 31, 2012 - 5:15PM

    @Tony Singh:
    Well there is a clear difference to be seen here: The liberal english-speaking and newspaper reading segment in Pakistan is fighting against the mentality of likes of Mumtaz Qadri and this lawyer in Rimsha case via promoting introspection and self-criticism in blogs and social media. You can see it in all articles and most comments. Even urdu press is becoming more liberal and introspective with time. On the other hand, heavy majority of the indian readers, if i have to judge by the comments posted by Indians on the Pakistani papers, is obsessed with blanket hatred of Pakistan, thinks India as a perfect heaven on earth and has zero focus on introspection. This is not really a healthy attitude. This obsession with hatred of the other side and thinking of your own self as the perfectly innocent victim is the mentality that gripped Pakistan in 70s/80s and look at the mess it landed us in …. you don’t want to follow the same route… do you? Recommend

  • Reza Aslan
    Aug 31, 2012 - 5:21PM

    yes, never saw any hate content in Indian books. Abhijeet should write his true name and location , an give references of books and page numbers.Recommend

  • shahid
    Aug 31, 2012 - 6:34PM

    These discussion on E.T shows that Pakistan is an open sucity.True we are suffering from an epidemic of religious intolernce but this has actually brought the whole issue to every body’s face now . People are no more silent and this shows a change of mind set. Once the problem is recognised solution follows. I am quite hopefull we will come out of this abyss soon. I have faith on communication advancements. Pakistan has no other way except to join the mainstream world.


  • Someone
    Aug 31, 2012 - 7:29PM

    It’s really funny to see Indians talking about their textbooks not having hate content. Here’s a good read for those fellows:


  • 1984
    Aug 31, 2012 - 7:50PM

    I hope you’re talking about some RSS distributed flyers,not about NCERT…because I never found any hate material in NCERT textbooks

    Rather I found that they have toned down the barbaric conquests made by Islamic rulers on India and rather praised them…Also,they didnt give much detail about Aurangzeb’s tyranny and the importance of Sikh brothers and Sivaji in protecting India from Islamization…

    Even Jinnah is projecting in a bad light and the bloodbath after partition was also toned down to prevent any anti-pakistani feelings…

    NCERT Books are found online…You can very well go through them and tell me the pages and passages where you found hate material,so that we could verifyit


  • Joy Goswami
    Aug 31, 2012 - 9:41PM

    @Abhijeet Its clear that you are not an Indian. So no need to waste time with you as you wont be able to produce any evidence or reference.


  • Sep 1, 2012 - 9:40AM

    i think many of us did not read it. i read the whole document which is a badly written thing. other than lot of proof reading and editing errors, it has many factual errors too. i read all the 13 important document government of pakistan published from 47 till 2009 and did work regarding policies against religious minorities esp Christine yet the report failed to mention it. in the function or launching ceremony of Six year long work (as claimed by the commission) only wajahat mentioned about errors in the report yet honorable speakers as usual retold old stories. the report is a bad name for minorities.
    Authors neither knew anything regarding fatal effects of Noor Khan Commission report 1969.
    · It was nor khan report which declared islamyat as compulsory subject till 10th class, instead of it the report wrongly said Islamyat was made compulsory subject in 1975.
    · it is also their false observation at page 17 that in 2009 there were some unbiased Pak studies textbooks published by PTB but in 2012 they are now biased. PTB publishes only 9 books till to date while all remaining books are old. the author looks impressed with Musharaf so-called double game which was more visible in the text books published under 2003 and 2007 orders.
    · While praising contributions of Pakistani religious minorities at page 7, the report claimed that Sir Zafrullah was architect of Lhore resolution. Zafrullah did not claim it in his book Tahdeez e niamat neither any historian ever mentioned it.
    · Report also claimed that govt has decided to change textbooks in 2012 yet officially there is not any proof of such claim.
    · The report is about sindh and Punjab text book books published under new curriculum but the author did not know that in 2012, PTB published only 9 books


  • ahmed41
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:46AM

    If a hugh majority exists and is dominant , pray, where is the need to * HATE THE OTHER IN OUR MIDST*

    This calls for a genuine INNER JEHAD of THE SOUL.

    Even if the * other* is your enemy, hate begets more hate~~~~~try some other device to attain inner personal and social peace.


  • Mehrun Nisa
    Sep 1, 2012 - 1:35PM

    Textbooks in India are indoctrinated by RSS with hate mongering material since 2002 just as textbooks in Pakistan. Both countries should seriously reconsider what are they teaching to their children, and what is the outcome of it. Denying things in public is no patriotism!


  • Umar Nisar
    Sep 1, 2012 - 6:07PM

    @Tony Singh Now I can’t even ”lol @ Indian comments” here :P it seems (obviously after reading your comment :P) that there is no religious extremism……..okay Indians: is it true or not ?:D


  • Meghana
    Sep 5, 2012 - 8:00PM

    A casual non-observant (or illiterate) Pakistani reader may consider the following analysis as fake propaganda. Please refrain from replying if you don’t believe me….

    Just opened my social studies textbook (Karnataka state syllabus) to check whether there is any kind of hate material it.. The very first chapter in the textbook talks about the idea of India… It says that India is the world’s largest democracy with multi lingual multi cultural multi religious multi ethnicity population.. India is the most diverse country in the world. ‘Unity in diversity’ is our motto.. We have 8 religions, over 24 languages, over 30 different ethnicities, two races (Aryans and Dravidians), every state has unique culture, distinct cuisines, festivals, and traditions. Yet we are all Indians connected together like thread made up of various different colors. India is a rainbow nation. This is what I can make out of the first few pages of the chapter. Let us fight against those forces who want to break India into pieces. Jai Bharat.. Let us make India the land of peace and tranquility :-) :-) It will take a thousand year for a pakistani to understand what I am talking about. I wish Pakistani text books had the same positive message rather than the hate messages against other cultures, religions and countries. Peace.Recommend

  • Sep 6, 2012 - 8:25AM

    @Meghana: re-interpreting old history according to present Nationalism is as bad as any thing else. this nation state Nationalism is not more than 200 years old. yet our nationalists , under the theories like One Nation or Two Nation just ruined old history. the paragraph you mentioned is another example of One Nation theory. it will be good if we de-construct this nationalist paradigm as it produce further confusions in the minds of kids. re-interpretating history with nationalism or religion, both creates problems. for writing an unbiased book we need to minimise religion and Nationalism for sure.


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