It is not far-fetched to assume that our country caters to rampant ideological indoctrination – our curriculum becoming the easiest target.

Recently in a sociology textbook being taught in Punjab, the description of the Baloch as “uncivilised” people irked Senators who called on for action against the people responsible. With such blatant persecution of our own people in textbooks that are supposed to educate the most politically dominant province, it is no wonder that we are creating a generation with perverse preconceived ideas about the most vulnerable people in the country.

The issue was raised in the upper house of parliament by Senator Mir Kabir of the National Party. Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq said the matter was “tantamount to stabbing the nation in the back”. He also asked a committee to be formed and those responsible for this blunder to be summoned before it. A representative of the government in response has asked for the entire syllabus to be reviewed to find out if there were more such distortions in it-action taken against those that were supposed to monitor it.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani has claimed that the syllabus had been reviewed with a view to bringing it in line with the Constitution-under an ordinance promulgated during Gen Ziaul Haq’s days in power. However, several sources have pointed out that the National Curriculum Revision Committee on Sociology met in 2001 and there is no one to blame but the government. The national curriculum is used as a political tool to construct identity rather than to educate. The distorted narration of history and factual inaccuracies in books is not a secret, and it was only expected that the myopia would mutate into hate speech against minority groups.

It is heartening that the Senate has taken up the matter. Even if there is little scope for changing national curricula to become more inclusive and less biased, at least strong criticism has been made vocal at the highest forum of the state.