Revised Class VIII Social Science book silent on Godse; Class VII book calls Maharana Pratap great, not Akbar.
Jawaharlal Nehru who?
The new Social Science textbook for Class VIII in schools of Rajasthan has erased Nehru from the pages of history. It does not mention who India’s first Prime Minister was.
Not yet available in the market but uploaded on the website of publisher Rajasthan Rajya Pathyapustak Mandal — http://www.rstbraj.in — 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.
Meant for use in schools of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education, the textbook revision has been carried out as part of “curriculum re-structuring” by the State Institute of Education Research and Training (SIERT), Udaipur.
In the previous edition of the textbook, the chapter on National Movement had Nehru prominently in a box titled Major Leaders of National Movement. Again, the chapter on India After Independence, in the earlier edition, began with the contribution of Nehru and Sardar Patel to government formation.
In the new chapter on National Movement, there is no mention of Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Madan Mohan Malviya or other freedom fighters. The chapter on post-independence India is again silent on Nehru. It mentions Rajendra Prasad as the first president and describes in detail the contribution of Sardar Patel to the unification of India.
However, School Education Minister Vasudev Devnani claimed he had no idea of Nehru’s omission from the textbook. “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,” he said.
But Devnani’s recent comments tell a different story. He had said that the Rajasthan government was redesigning textbooks to ensure that ‘no Kanhaiya Kumar was born in the state’. He had also said that he wanted the curriculum would have a new set of agendas like 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.
Additionally, Emperor Akbar would no longer be called ‘Akbar the Great’. The ‘great’ suffix would instead be used for Maharana Pratap. The change is reflected in the Class 8 textbook for medieval history.
The history section of the textbook has been written by eight authors, mostly faculty from government schools.
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot slammed the exclusion of Nehru from the textbooks. “This is taking saffronisation to the next level. The BJP’s ideological bankruptcy has stooped to such levels that it is erasing the country’s first Prime Minister from school history books. But they should know that this does not mean they can erase Nehru’s memory and his contribution from the nation’s collective conscience. We will oppose this attempt to alter the nation’s history,” he was quoted as saying.