The Hush Post|11:09 am|one-minute-read|
The Rajasthan government has constituted a textbook revision committee in the school education department after coming to power in Rajasthan.
The department has revised a biography of RSS ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The biography was introduced by the BJP. The committee has now removed the prefix ‘Veer’ from Savakar’s name in Class X Social Science textbooks. Now, it just refers to him as Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who “plotted assassination” of Mahatma Gandhi, and was killed by Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948.
The committee has included a point stating that before independence Savarkar, who was arrested in 1910 for alleged revolutionary activities, had “apologised” to the British Raj to reduce his 50-year jail term and secure clemency. He was freed in 1921 on the condition that he renounce revolutionary activities.
“This is a usual process for revision committee to review textbooks,” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said but seemed not very keen to generate controversy over it at this time.
The foremost change has been to remove the picture of a Jauhar, which encourages self-immolation. This removal of Jauhar and equating it with Sati, which is illegal, has annoyed Rajputs for whom Jauhar is different from Sati.
Padmani has been a well-known example of Jauhar against Alauddin Khilji, and an attempt to ‘distort her image’ in the movie Padmavat met with strong protests from Rajputs. It was the Rajput anger against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government which added to the party’s defeat in assembly elections.
“BJP made it look like a communal battle ignoring the role of Pratap’s general Hakim Khan Suri too. Our text will inspire students from Pratap’s life story,” he said.
But the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and hardliners within the BJP have been taken aback after Veer Savarkar’s letter to the British seeking waiver of rigorous imprisonment has been included. The Gehlot government may also do away with a chapter on demonetisation.
The review committee is yet to decide on how much space Jawahar Lal Nehru will get in Congress-written textbooks because the BJP government had reduced too much of the Nehru saga.