India’s first prime minister’s name was erased from the new social science textbook for Class VIII in schools of Rajasthan. It even does not mention about India’s first PM.
The soft copy of the book uploaded on the website of Rajasthan Rajya Pathyapustak Mandal, — the publisher of the book — is not yet available in the market. The textbook features Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and revolutionary Hemu Kalani but is silent on Nehru and other Congress freedom fighters. There is also no mention of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination by Nathuram Godse, the Sunday Express said in a report.
The book is published for the schools run by Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education. The textbook revision has been carried out as a part of “curriculum re-structuring” by the State Institute of Education Research and Training (SIERT), Udaipur.
In the earlier editions, in the chapter on India’s struggle for independence, Nehru and other prominent national leaders’ name were featured. The contribution of Nehru and Patel were mentioned in the chapter on India After Independence.
In the new edition, the chapter on National Movement has no mention of Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Madan Mohan Malviya or other freedom fighters. Similarly, Nehru was missing in the chapter on post-independence India. The chapter only mentions first president of India, Rajendra Prasad and describes in detail the contribution of Sardar Patel to the unification of India.
“The government and I have nothing to do with it. I am yet to see the new textbooks. The syllabus is created by an autonomous body and the government does not interfere in it at all,” Sunday Express quoted school education minister Vasudev Devnani.
Earlier the education minister was quoted as saying that the state government was re-designing textbooks to ensure “no Kanhaiya Kumar was born in the state”. “I wanted the curriculum to have a three-pronged effect: teach the child about the ‘veer’ and ‘veerangana’ of Rajasthan; make the child proud of Indian culture; and, create an ideal citizen and a patriot,” Devnani had said.
The medieval history text book of class VII describes Maharana Pratap as “The Great.” It however does not use the suffix for Mughal emperor Akbar, who is described by most historians as “Akbar The Great”.
The foreword of the text book is written by director of SIERT. He thanks UNICEF for financial and technical assistance. The history section was handled by a team of eight authors, including senior teachers and principals from government schools. The team is headed by Brajmohan Ramdev, retired district literacy officer, Jaisalmer.
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot said the ommission of the freedom fighters from the text book is part of ruling BJP’s agenda of saffronising education. He called it as BJP’s ideological bankruptcy.