Images of India and Indian in School Text-books

S Jain skjain at
Mon May 20 18:37:49 UTC 1996

I thought members of this newsgroup may be interested in knowing a recent 
publication that deals with Indian (steretypical) images in British 
school text-books:

Title:	Britannia's Children: Reading Colonialism Through Children's
	Books and Magazines
Author: Katheryn Castle
	Lecturer in History
	University of North London
Publ:	University of Manchester
Date:	March 1996

The subject of images of India and Indians in school texts, literary 
works and other print and visual media has previously been dealt with 
several authors; among others, the following (some with a Canadian slant, 
3ff.) may be of some interest to members of this group:

1. Asia in American Textbooks; an evaluation. Asia Society, N.Y., 1976.
2. Isaacs, Harold R. Images of Asia: American Views of China and India.
	[Alternate title: Scratches on Our Mind]. Capricorn Books, N.Y.,
3. Jessop, Deborah. "Images and stereotypes of India in Ontario Secondary
	School Resources", unpublished thesis, University of Windsor, 1979.
4. Nelson, G.W.C. A Review of all Textbooks listed in Circular 14 for the
	purpose of identifying bias or prejudice towards ethnic groups...
	Ministry of Education, Toronto, June 1970.
7. Rosenstock, Janet and Dennis Adair. Multiculturalism in the Classroom: 
	A Survey of Inter-racial attitudes in Ontario Schools. Secretary of
	State, Govt. of Ontario, Toronto, 1976.

Of course 
Udayon Misra's _The Raj in Fiction: A Study of Nineteenth-Century 
	British Attitudes Towards India_
is also relevant in this discussion.

Just the other day I happen to notice a slim volume in a school 
library. It is called _Humorous Poetry for Children" edited by William 
Cole and illustrated by Ervine Metzel (The World Publishing Co., Cleveland
and New York, 1955). Here is a quatrain that appears on page 25 with an 

	I'm a little Hindoo,
	I do all I kindoo,
	Where my pants and shirts don't meet
	I make my little skindoo.

Then there is a short poem on page 102, by the same title as the first 
line of the poem, by Wlater Parke:

	There was a young prince in Bombay,
	Who always would have his own way;
	He pampered his horses
	On five or six courses,
	Himself eating nothing by hay.

On page 101 is Preston Newman's "Some Questions to be asked of a Rajah, 
perhaps by the Associated Press",
(An Exchange, for One Voice Only)

What's the greeting for a rajah riding on an elephant?
Howdah, Mistah Rajah, what's the weather like up there?
And, oh, Mistah Rajah, how does it feel to swing and sway 	
	_without_ Sammy Kaye?
What saye?
Come lowdah?
And how does the rajah make an elephant staye
	exactly where he wants him to?
With an ankus?
Or do you tie a little rope around his anklus,
	so if anybody creeps up behind and shouts "Boo!"
	he still won't run awaye?
Yoo doo?
And lastly, Mistah Rajah,
	who takes care of the elephant when the rajah's
	not about?
A mahout?
Rajah, over and out.

However, the most stereotypical may be an annonymous poem called 'NIRVANA'.
It is rather a long poem (as compared to the one quoted above), so I 
hesitate to reproduce it here. If someone is interested in obtaining a 
copy I would be happy to oblige.

BTW I would be interested in knowing, and surely in reading, a review of 
_Britannia's Children_ in this newsgroup. This book however has bee 
reviewd in _The Guardian_ (9 April 1996) by Peter Kingston; and in the 
Evening Standard (29 March 1996) by Natalie Clarke.

CC: sushjain at

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