Saturday, April 17, 2010
Cultural Revolution in the Kindergartens
I remember asking an Ethiopian friend of mine, who lived under the Marxist rule in Ethiopia, if they were ever taught all that Marxism-Leninism stuff in the schools? He shook his head as if I reminded him of a sore subject and told me, 'Every day we had to stay behind after lessons for these special ideological classes and pity that kid who asked a question which would prolong these torturous sessions, we would get hold of him after class and beat the crap out of him, for we wanted to go to the beach or to the cinema after school and the last thing we wanted to do was to listen to all that drivel a minute longer than we had to..'
On the other side of the coin, under the Shah, reading Marxist literature was banned, yet the Iranian youth would go out of their way to get hold of a copy of the Communist Manifesto. The illegality of it just made it more exciting and having read such literature was like wearing a badge of intellectual honour.
The Islamic Republic never learns however. In fact whenever there is a feeling of despair and despondency, one can always look forward to the regime shooting itself in the foot. Last week, the Minister of Social Welfare, Ahmadinejad's friend and crony and overnight multi millionaire, Sadegh Mahsouli, announced that only kindergartens that teach Islamic values as the main core of their curriculum will receive government loans and grants and kindergartens which ignore Islamic teachings will be severely dealt with! And what specific Islamic values are at the top of the priority list of the Multi-Millionaire Minister? Mr. Mahsouli wants kindergartens to teach the kids about martyrdom and bring them up as martyrdom seeking toddlers!
So after failure of 'cultural revolution' in universities and schools, guess what will happen at the kindergartens!
Iranian kids having to toil in brick factories while overnight millionaires like Social Welfare Minister Mahsouli rant on about what should be taught at kindergartens