Indian state says ‘no sir’ to nursery rhymes

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

NEW DELHI, June 14, 2006 (AFP) – An Indian state has decided to drop popular nursery rhymes like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” from text books for first-graders for being too Western, reports said Wednesday. “We want our children to have value education in local color,” newspapers reported Narottam Mishra, minister of education for central Madhya Pradesh state, as saying. Mishra said the Western nursery rhymes would be replaced by rhymes by Indian authors to inculcate “a sense of patriotism” in children, and to “reduce Western influence.”