Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sholay In Schools?

Rediff.com reports "More than 25 years after its release, Ramesh Sippy's Sholay continues to make headlines. This time, the film has made history of sorts by being the first to be introduced in schools as a chapter in textbooks! The movie will be part of a course teaching Std 5 students (of the CBSE board) to communicate well in English."

Wow! I'm actually dumbfounded! I've been trying to figure out the relationship between Sholay and teaching 5th standard students to communicate well in English! If I remember all right, Sholay didn't have any dialogues in English. If anything, it popularized Gabbar Singh's Avadhi accent! I wonder if after this, children will start calling their moms Chamiya, dads Sambha and their cars Dhanno!

Arre o Sambha, kaisa jamana aa gaya re!!

[Update: Patient Portnoy kindly pointed me to more information on this, umm...issue! Thanks a ton! And this is what I found out.]

For the first time in the history of Indian academia, an entire chapter in a school textbook will be devoted to a mainstream Bollywood blockbuster. Ramesh Sippy’s multi-starrer Sholay has been added to the Broadway course workbook No 5 for Class V students of CBSE.

Published by Oxford University Press, the inclusion of Sholay is a continuation to the chapter on films and film-making in the Broadway book, which is designed to help students communicate effectively and accurately in English.

The National Curriculum Framework 2005 postulates that the multi-lingual character of our society be treated as a resource and school teaching should focus on what the child understands. Since films are an integral part of our culture and Sholay is one of the most influential films, it has been included in the course, said sources. "The text on films and filmmaking in the course book and Sholay in the workbook is a representation of Indian drama in the life of a child. The choice of Sholay was made because it is a different film in many ways. Besides,we wanted children to be aware of the prominence attached to the Indian film industry," said an insider.

Now, my question is, do the members of National Curriculum Framework really believe that the current generation needs to be made "aware of the prominence attached to the Indian film industry"? As if...

Reactions have been by and large positive. Psychiatrist Harish Shetty believes it is an excellent idea. "Sholay encompasses the ethos and feeling of an era in a brilliant narrative. It can certainly touch young hearts and minds," he said.
However, an academic said: "The negatives may have a bigger influence on children than the positives.... Amjad Khan became more popular than Sanjeev Kumar."

Finally here's a person who said something that made some sense :-)


ichatteralot said...

Corruption and bribery at work to 'immortalize' the film I am sure!

that girl in pink said...

I'm as gobsmacked as you are! Why on earth they would teach sholay to class 5 students, as part of any subject, is beyond me. Why can't they just teach the kids the difference between "told" and "said". And when to use the word "like"!

thinking of possible reasons to put sholay in school curriculum

Nope, nothing!

Anonymous said...

Let them teach Ruskin Bond to class 5 students, why Sholay for heaven's sake?!

Ghetufool said...

bollwoodisation of education...but there's no opposition party to cry for it.

Sandeep Meher said...

why not? if this makes young generation understand the complexity behind film-making, i think it could be worth it. and 'sholay' is the best choice to start.

Nautilus said...

@chatter:Corruption and bribery...hmm..thats a differnt angle. I was thinking of plain stupidity :-) But then who knows?!

@Pink: Totaly agree. Can't think of any reason whatsoever!

@Annon: Ruskin Bond...absolutely! How about Kamala Laxman?

@Ghetu:Children get enough exposure to Bollywood...do they really need to add bollywood material to their curriculum now? Since the news clip didn't have any such information, I cannot comment on the political angle :-)

BTW, thanks for dropping by!

@Sandeep: If they were including Sholay for a film appreciation class, I'd have no problem. But I still can't understand the relation with "communication in English" part! :-)

lemontree said...

hey first time here. like your blog/ self description....

am equally dumb founded on "sholay as part of 'commincate well in English syllabus'"

however i think there is too little information we are making too much off.

no one, not even cbse, can be so dumb. am sure there is some point, maybe there is a chapter on the History made by the film Sholay or something

Nautilus said...

@Lemontree: Welcome to my blog. I agree with you that there's too little information on this. Yet, someone actually thought about it is puzzling enough. I doubt if any portion of Sholay would ever become a part of middle -school education...the parents will raise a huge protest! :-)

Patient Portnoy said...

Nautilus, this is hilarious. But I'll tell you what I know :-)

There'll be a chapter on the making of Sholay in an Oxford University Press course book for Class V. This book (name: Broadway) is designed to teach effective English, and the chapter will only tell a story. Hence, it is the way the chapter is constructed that will teach English, not the subject matter itself


Aswin said...

hi Nautilius, nice article, iam dumstruck too on how sholay can be used to teach english. Seems like the "Brain Drain" of India has resulted in the loss of academic experts which explains todays views on academics. OUr politicians who are illiterates themselves are made as education ministers and they do nothing but make money. How on earth would you explain the idea of Quotas in IIM and IIS. Although we cannot do anything about our stupid politicians ,we can atleast blog about them and reduce our frustration. Anyway noce blog and please do visit my Blog www.genieoflife.blogspot.com. Bye & happy blogging

qwerty said...

Huh? WTH %$^%$%$#%@$#

Schools will go like this
"Are o basanti, theek se pada na" are these ppl free all the time to think up something as absurd as this?

ichatteralot said...

Madame - we are waiting for your next post!