Ajmer: Glaring omissions in a new social science text book for students of Class 8 in Rajasthan, looks set to turn into a huge political controversy. The book makes no mention of the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, either as a freedom fighter, or as a leader of Independent India.
It also fails to mention Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination by Nathuram Godse.
The text book “Samajik Vigyan” mentions Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and even lesser known freedom fighters like Hemu Kalani. It mentions Rajendra Prasad as the country’s first president. There is also a chapter on Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.
In Delhi, Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot demanded that the state government apologise. “How can one remove the name of the first Prime Minister of India? People of his stature cannot be removed.”
This is just one more in a series of controversial decisions taken by the Rajasthan education department. Earlier, the government had made Suryanamaskar compulsory in government schools and took away the title “The Great” from Emperor Akbar and gave it to Maharana Pratap – both decisions had witnessed huge rows.
Rajasthan’s education minister denied that books are being rewritten with an eye on ideology.
“Earlier, some writers wrote with a view to keep their political masters happy, but actually, the syllabus should be formulated in a way that it makes good citizens and inculcates patriotism,” said Vasu Dev Devnani, amid cries of “Bharat mata ki jai” by his supporters.