The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and Shiv Sena have reiterated their demand for a revision in the NCERT Class 7 History textbook, which has ‘little information’ on Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji, but ‘several pages’ for Mughal emperors.
In separate petitions to the Fadnavis government, the organisations demanded that the textbook ‘Our Pasts – 2’, prescribed by the National Council for Educational Research and Training, presents ‘distorted’ history as it glorifies the ‘cruel’ Mughal emperors who tortured the Hindus, but gives just six sentences about Shivaji, who fought against Moghuls and ‘liberated’ Hindus from their slavery.
“Most of the pages in the 154-page book are dedicated to Mughal emperors while there are only five-six lines on Shivaji (in chapter 10), that too without his picture. Giving negligible space to Shivaji amounts to insulting him,” states the letter written by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti to Education Minister Vinod Tawde on March 22.
Shiv Sena legislator Bharatsheth Gogawale had submitted a similar petition to the state government three months ago. DNA has a copy of both the letters. CBSE schools across the country are supposed to follow NCERT curriculum and also the textbooks prescribed by the Council.
The HJS and Sena MLAs have sought an immediate revision in the book at the state-level giving adequate space to Shivaji, so that children studying in CBSE schools get inspiration from the life history of the icon.
“Surprisingly, not a single photo of Shivaji was available with the Council while they had pictures of Babur and his descendants, starting from the year 1526, which were printed in the book. This is a serious academic mistake,” alleges Arvind Pansare of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.
Pansare taunts, “Had Shivaji born in Europe, he would have got adequate space in our history books,” adding the Samiti is raising this issue since many years at the Centre and state but to no avail.
Sena legislators and HJS say, “States can amend 25 per cent of the history curriculum. Goa government had done that in 2009 itself. Now, Maharashtra government must also do it.”
The HJS held a demonstration on the matter early this week at Azad Maidan, Mumbai and plans to launch more agitations ahead of the new academic sessions so that their recommendations are accommodated in the textbooks.
“The Maratha leader is credited for ending the Mughal rule in India. Chhatrapati Shivaji (1627-1680) successfully fought against the Mughals. Still the book does not carry any picture of Shivaji or forts conquered by him. This will deprive the coming generation of our country’s rich history,” insists Samiti.
The letter also rues that the book has only half page information on Rajputs and is silent on great warrior Maharana Pratap.
The history textbooks in India had often courted controversies. While right-wing groups often blame the Congress governments of coming out with ‘biased’ history curriculum to suit their narrative, the Congress accuses BJP of ‘saffronizing’ education.
NCERT Director Hrushikesh Senapaty was unavailable for comments. An official of the Council stated that the History books were revised a few years back and suggestions may be considered in the next revision.
Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde failed to respond till the time of going to the press.
Source : DNA