Haryana’s Secondary Education Board has published a new history book for Class 9, which has triggered a row by blaming Congress for India’s Partition in 1947 and lauding the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its founders role as “postive” in “awakening cultural nationalism and freedom struggle,” The Wire reported.
The second last chapter of the new history book that will be available from May 20, has detailed the reasons for India’s Partition. It blames the Congress party’s “greed for power and appeasement politics” for the division.
In addition to Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s stubbornness, the book according to The Wire has also blamed the Muslim League’s “sectarian ideology” and the British divide-and-rule policy for the Partition, according to The Wire.
The book published in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Haryana stated that Congress leaders were “worn out in the 1940s and were no longer willing to continue with the freedom struggle.”
“Some of Congress leaders wanted Independence as early as possible in their eagerness to enjoy power at any cost,” the book says in Hindi, further claiming that Mahatma Gandhi opposed the Partition. “When the Congress leadership did not show any enthusiasm, Gandhi too had to accept the Partition.”
The book questions that if Partition was necessary to ensure peace between the two countries, “Why hasn’t peace been established even today?”
However, the Congress leaders have expressed uproar against the claims in the history textbook.
Speaking to The Wire former chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said, that it was a clear attempt by the BJP to ‘politicise’ education and were trying to saffronise history and brainwash youngsters.
“On the other hand, the reality about Congress’s contribution in the freedom struggle is known to everyone. History does not change like this. They will not be successful,” he said.
Refusing to acknowledge opposition’s charges that facts were distorted and politicized in the book, Dr. Jagbir Singh, chairman of the Haryana Board of Secondary Education told The Wire that contents of the new books were based on “records available in history.”
“More than 40 history scholars were involved in the exercise and we have verified sources quoted by them. I don’t want to indulge in unnecessary politicisation but I feel it is important to present the right facts before the young generations,” he said adding that adequate efforts were made for this.
The very first chapter of class 9, book ‘Social and Cultural Renaissance in India’, according to The Wire, talks about the contribution of 20th-century personalities like Maharishi Aurobindo and Keshavrao Baliram Hedgewar, the founder of RSS, to “push the freedom struggle movement by using the idea of cultural nationalism.”
“This played a vital role in the social, cultural and intellectual awakening of Indian society,” it reads.
There is also a detailed essay on Hedgewar on page 11 of this chapter, where he is called “a great patriot and one who professed revolutionary ideas during his lifetime,” as per reports.
With passages devoted to the RSS, claiming it was “against caste system and untouchability,” the book also gives detailed descriptions of Hedgewar’s political life, claiming that the Congress had once refused to take up a resolution based on his idea of absolute freedom for India.
The fourth chapter is devoted to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s role in the Indian freedom struggle.
“Savarkar was a staunch supporter of Hindutva and also the strongly opposed partition of India,” the book says.
Further, the book claims that Mahatma Gandhi had appealed for Savarkar’s release in Young India magazine in 1920, according to The Wire. However, the opposition parties have in the past called it a distortion of facts.
While the book makes no mention of how Savarkar was released from jail, his critics said that he apologized to British rulers to get out of prison.