Rajasthan government schools to hold classes on sadhus

Government schools in Rajasthan will hold lectures on sadhus and plans are in progress to remove relevant chapters on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru from the text books of the Rajasthan government schools


Humra Quraishi

The latest news coming from Rajasthan, that the government schools in Rajasthan will hold lectures on sadhus on every third Saturday of the month, should have brought along much cheer, after all, what better than to know about spiritual men and women, but then why that sense of deep apprehension!

Yes, there is fear-cum-apprehension because, according to sources, plans are in progress to remove relevant chapters on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru from the text books of the Rajasthan government schools. Not just that, students in Rajasthan could be taught twisted and wrong versions of historical facts: Rajput king Maharana Pratap defeated the army of Mughal emperor Akbar in the Battle of Haldighati some 450 years ago!

This is factually and historically incorrect. Historians point out that historical evidence shows that Maharana Pratap, ruler of the Mewar region, had fled the battlefield, although in the later years he continued his guerilla war against the Mughals.

Right-wing Rajasthan government’s hatred for the Mughals can be judged from the fact that last year not just the suffix ‘Great’ was dropped from the name of the Mughal emperor Akbar from text books in the state of Rajasthan but the Rajasthan government has gone ahead and renamed the well-known Ajmer Fort - from Akbar Ka Qila to 'Ajmer ka Qila and Sangrahalaya'.

Mind you, no expert committee of historians and academics were involved in the decision. The name of a historical monument was changed just by the order of Rajasthan education minister, Vasudev Devnani. This fort, built by Akbar in 1570, was left untouched even when the Rathors, Marathas and the British ruled the state. The original name of the Ajmer Fort was legally sanctioned by a Gazette notification in December, 1968. It was named ‘Akbar ka Qila’ or ‘Daulat Khana’ and this name continued till, of course, the Vasundhara Raje government changed it!

It’s not just Rajasthan, Maharashtra government has almost defaced the names of Muslim rulers from its history books. This, when the Mughal legacy holds much relevance in the very history of India. Can we delete these historical facts: In the third battle of Panipat, where the Marathas were defeated by the Durani Empire of Afghanistan, the Marathas sided with Shah Alam II (Shah Alam II was only a puppet under the Marathas) and then led an army to punish the Afghans for their atrocities in 1772. They ransacked fort of Pathargarh and forced the Rohilla Afghans to pay a huge war indemnity.

The revisions of the Maharashtra text books omit the Delhi Sultanate and the Suri Empire in India, without which most of modern Indian history would be in complete. Without a discussion on the Bijapur Sultanate, Aurangzeb's rise to power over other contenders to the throne and the invasion by Ahmed Shah Durani, simply cannot be studied or put in the historical context.

Dictates of new India

Today new forms of bullying are rampant in schools. Singing of Vande Mataram is forced on Muslim students and Surya Namaskar has become mandatory in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh schools.

One should not overlook the recent announcement by the Haryana education minister, Ram Bilas Sharma, that the Gayatri Mantra will be part of the morning prayers in Haryana government schools. Describing the mantra as “a gift by our saints and sages to the world”, he announced that a decision to this effect was taken during his meeting with senior Education Department officials.

Newspapers are full of harassment faced by Muslim students. If you’d recall, just few months ago, a Kanpur-based student, Arsh Mohammad, tried killing himself after his school teachers not just taunted and ridiculed him in front of his fellow students but even ‘searched for a gun’ in his school bag! This happening on the premises of one of the branches of the Delhi Public School (Kanpur).

Children are being threatened and humiliated by school teachers if they don’t follow the new dictates of today’s developed India!

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