Veer Savarkar overshadows Gandhi and Nehru in New Rajasthan TextBooks

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In BJP ruled Rajasthan, the revised textbooks of Rajasthan State Board which are to be taught from this year have no reference to Jawahar Lal Nehru, passing reference to Mahatma Gandhi and dominant space has been given to RSS ideologue Veer Savarkar.


According to the new books, Congress leaders were prosperous middle class intellectuals hailing from big cities having no association with the common man, says a report by Hindustan Times.

The textbook for class 11th Political Science even goes so far to say that Congress was a ‘nurture baby’ of the British, established by the capitalists and representatives of the upper middle class.

With an idea to promote “nationalism” and “patriotism”, Veer Savarkar has been described as a “great revolutionary” whose contribution in freedom struggle and uniting India is beyond words. Savarkar is not only shown as an icon but his “real” role in the freedom struggle elevates him far above Gandhi and Nehru. What is not mentioned in the books however, is that Savarkar pleaded for clemency when imprisoned during the freedom struggle.

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Veer Savarkar, who was the pioneer of Hindutva right wing politics, wrote several mercy petitions to the British and quite evidently pledged his allegiance to the British in return for being released from prison. Savarkar described himself as a ”prodigal son” longing to return to the ”parental doors of the government”.

His reference in the textbooks however portray a different picture altogether. Many see BJP’s revision of history as a way of saffronising education and glamorising one side of the history while eliminating the other. And this isn’t the first time when BJP has done that. The biggest issue with it is that, in order to promote their ideology they are trying to mend the facts and trying to teach the children a completely distorted version of history. Sure, thee education system needs a revamp, but distortion of facts is unjustifiable.

Early this year, BJP MLA from Rajasthan had proposed to amend Rajasthan University textbooks which state that Maharana Pratap had defeated Akbar at the famed ‘Battle of Haldighati’.

While it is understandable that every political party has its own ideology that it would like to propagate, there must be a proper balance in the schooling system to ensure that the facts of history are not changed in text books with every change of government. To suggest that all historians have thus far conspired to make one party look good or to claim that Gandhi and Nehru had nothing but a negligible role to play in shaping the history of India is a heavy distortion of the facts.

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The Madhya Pradesh government had also decided to replace the studies of Nehruvian ideology and socialism with right-wing ideologue Pt Deendayal Upadhyay for the postgraduate students of the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism, one in many steps taken towards, what suggest, ‘fraternisation of education’.

In simple words, solid attempts are being made in BJP/NDA ruled states to rewrite history while distorting facts and ignoring the real contributions of parties, movements or individuals. This is a ridiculous attempt to misrepresent history in line with partisan Hindutva ideology.

Source : HT

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