Compare the role of education in nation-building in India with that in other countries.

Nation-building is given top priority in the education curriculum of India. Knowledge of freedom struggle dominates the history books in Indian schools. Kumar pointed out that other subjects took back seat in this process. In India national identity is constructed around colonial history. Several phases in achieving independence are stressed to transform younger generation into loyal citizens to their nation. Knowledge about the past is selected reconstructed and represented in the school textbooks in such a way that it influences younger generation to be patriotic.

In other countries too, education is used as a tool to impose ideologies of rulers. In USSR, education system is supposed to produce ‘totalitarian man‘. The Soviet education system legitimates the actions of the Communist Party. Text books in Russia are filled with the tales of political leaders, brave soldiers and famous scientist. Marxism and Leninism are highlighted in the educational curriculum. The biographies were written in a way that youth are inspired to be loyal to the communist Party of USSR.

Kumar opined that in the Indian school history books, details and certain events are given more space than other events of freedom struggle. This tendency is called as ‘politics of mention‘. Indian history texts treat 1919 to 1947 as ‘Gandhian era’ of Indian struggle of Independence. History books on freedom struggle highlighted Gandhi’s personality, activities and his ideology. Students are taught about non violence and the power of truth.

Napoleon recognized the role of education in controlling the masses. In the Napoleon era, French education system was used as an instrument to teach students to have unquestioning acceptance of Napoleon as Emperor, to honour Napoleon and to be willing to serve him.

Educational policies, educational structure, educational curriculum and pedagogy play an active role in ideological control over people. In India, nation state, national language and national culture favour dominant culture and ignores minority cultures. The assimilation into National culture in the name of homogenization of cultures forced minorities into subordinate position. Nation state selected National heroes and adopted certain rituals as a symbols of its national identity. Dominant minority consisting modern elite controls National resources, which disadvantages large sections of the population. Nation state expects minorities to put national identity over their culture.

In Germany too, education favoured Nazism and hence taught German youth the cult of racial superiority, military discipline, unquestioning obedience, and devotion to Hitler. In this process, independent thought and imagination was discouraged.

Education is not apolitical. All over the world, education is used as a tool for Nation-building and to legitimize the authority of dominant groups. Education is the most powerful instrument to indoctrinate masses.

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