India's kids taught politics through film

Book features cult Bollywood hits with political overtones

NEW DELHI -- Some of India's best-known films, including cult Bollywood hits with political overtones, have been introduced in state-run schools to liven up politics classes, a newspaper said Monday.

Reference material gleaned from eight films is being used in the high school political science book called "Politics in India Since Independence," the Hindustan Times newspaper reported, quoting the PTI news agency.

"This attempt makes a departure from the legacy of bookish learning," the report said, quoting unnamed sources in the National Council of Education Research and Training.

Academics shaping the curriculum have drawn from such films as "Garam Hawa," based on India's blood-soaked partition for a chapter on nation building, and "Zanjeer," a commentary on degenerating moral standards starring Amitabh Bachchan.

Acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray's "Pather Panchali" from the "Apu trilogy" also has provided material for a chapter on "politics of planned development."