New Delhi: Former NCERT director J.S. Rajput and representatives of the Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM) told a parliamentary panel Wednesday that current history textbooks in schools have a lot of content glorifying Mughal rulers who invaded India, while sparsely mentioning the role of Indian rulers including the Cholas and Pandyas, which has resulted in distortion of ancient Indian history, MPs who attended the meeting told ThePrint.
BSM is an RSS affiliate working in the education sector.
“They (Rajput and Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal) said Indian history needs to be revisited and read in a holistic nature, and for that we need to go back to Vedic times as our history and culture is drawn from that period,” an MP, who is a member of the parliamentary standing committee on education, women, children, youth and sports, told ThePrint.
“They said that instead of reading history starting from 200 years of British rule, we should look at invasions dating back to 1,200 years. Rajput said we need to glorify our national heroes and give proportionate references to all periods of Indian history,” the MP added.
BSM representatives also mentioned several instances in NCERT textbooks where historical figures and dates have been “distorted”, another member of the parliamentary panel said.
‘Distortion because of Communists & Leftists’
The panel, headed by BJP Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, was hearing suggestions from senior officials of the education ministry, the CBSE chairman, NCERT director, retired NCERT officials and and representatives from BSM on reforms in contents and designs of textbooks, removing references to non-historical facts and distortions about national heroes from school books, as well as ensuring equal or proportionate references to all periods of the Indian history.
“Rajput said the distortion has happened because Communists and Leftists in the 60s and 70’s influenced the content of textbooks with their ideologies,” the MP quoted earlier said.
After hearing the suggestions Wednesday, the parliamentary panel decided there was a need to hear the views of more stakeholders in the field of education, before making any changes in textbook content.
“Today, we have heard the perspective of only a few individuals. But the committee felt that there is a need to hear the views of other organisations and individuals for a larger perspective before submitting our report,” another member of the panel said.
The committee, the member added, is likely to meet again on 21 January.
Some of the members also advised caution to to school education secretary Anita Karwal before adding new content. “One of the MPs told Karwal that it is important to see what is being dropped from the existing textbooks to accommodate new content. There is a need to have a holistic perspective on history,” another MP, who is also member of the panel, said.