Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Turns out, it's a sadder story than it sounds: the books were not burned in protest, nor for their content. Teachers in India found the outside temperatures falling to freezing levels, and decided they needed to do something...so they made a book bonfire to keep their students warm. 500 books indended for impoverished schools were tied into gunny sacks and set alight. Unfortunately, destroying those books wasn't a decision they were allowed to make: the police have issued citations to the instructors who approved the fire. While much of India is moving to the modern world, there is still much poverty — when your big decision is whether a book is more useful for education or avoiding exposure to the elements, you must live in an area that barely scratches at the edges of 21st century standards of living.