Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Subversive Mother Goose

Indian state wants "value education in local color" for its children.

An Indian state has removed nursery rhymes such as "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Baa Baa Black Sheep" from its primary school syllabus because they are "too Western," newspapers said Wednesday.

The government in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, run by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, dropped the rhymes, immensely popular with millions of Indian children, from its Class I syllabus taught to five-year-olds.

Indian poets will write English-language rhymes for use instead. But why not just go the whole route and use Hindi rhymes instead?

(And yes, I know that English is an Associate Official Language in India--one that's associated with social status and mobility. That's part of the irony, don't you think?)