Jaipur: Students studying in Class 8 in schools of Rajasthan will not be told who Jawaharlal Nehru was.
The new social science textbook for Class 8 does not mention Nehru either as a freedom fighter or as the first Prime Minister of independent India, according to a media report.
Not yet available in the market but uploaded on the website of publisher Rajasthan Rajya Pathyapustak Mandal (http://www.rstbraj.in) the new textbook mentions Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, Sardar Patel, Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and revolutionary Hemu Kalani, but has no mention of Pandit Nehru.
In the new chapter on National Movement, there is no mention of Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Madan Mohan Malviya or other freedom fighters. Interestingly, Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination by Nathuram Godse has also been avoided.
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.
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.