Class 9 History Book Blames Congress For Partition, Praises RSS, Hedgewar, Savarkar

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Chandīgarh: A new class 9 history book prepared by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Haryana Secondary Education Board has created a row by blaming Congress for the partition of India in 1947.

The book further praises the “positive” role that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (the ideological beachhead of the BJP) and its founders have played in “awakening cultural nationalism and the struggle for freedom”.

The new history book will be available from May 20, council officials said. The other classes’ history books have also been “updated”.

The penultimate chapter of the Class 9 history book details the reasons for the partition of India. In it, he blames the Congress party’s “greed for power and appeasement policy” for the division.

He also blamed the “sectarian ideology” of the Muslim League, in addition to the “stubbornness” of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Britain’s divide and rule policy for partition.

The cover of Class 9 History textbook. Photo: www.bseh.org.in

The book stated that Congress leaders were “exhausted” in the 1940s and no longer willing to continue the fight for freedom.

“Some Congress leaders wanted independence as soon as possible in their eagerness to enjoy power at all costs,” the Hindi book says.

“Mahatma Gandhi opposed partition. When the Congress leadership showed no enthusiasm, Gandhi had to accept the partition as well,” he continues.

The book also observes that the Muslim League had “continually opposed the Congress” on many issues. But Congress, on the other hand, was keen to collaborate with the Muslim League against the British government, the book says.

The Lucknow Pact of 1916, in which two parties agreed to allow representation of religious minorities in provincial legislatures, the Khilafat movement of 1919 which called on the British to protect the caliphate, and the Gandhi-Jinnah talks in 1944 to Breaking the deadlock over the two-nation theory are cited in the book as examples of the “congressional appeasement policy,” which encouraged communalism.

“Mohammed Ali Jinnah was wooed again and again, and due to the excessive prominence he had, he was further strengthened. As a result, the country was weakening, communal clashes were common… It made believe in Congress that partition was the only way to bring peace to the country,” the book states.

The book asks if partition was necessary to secure peace between the two countries, “Why has peace not been established even today?”

Edu board says changes are ‘fact-based’

Ever since the book went online, state congressional leaders have rebelled against it.

Former Chief Minister and Congress Leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said The Thread that this was a clear attempt by the BJP to “politicize” education.

He added that the BJP was trying to saffronize history and brainwash young people. “On the other hand, the reality of Congress’s contribution to the struggle for freedom is known to all. History does not change like that. They will not succeed,” he said.

Dr. Jagbir Singh, chairman of the Haryana Board of Secondary Education, refused to acknowledge opposition accusations that facts were distorted and politicized in the new book.

He said The Thread that the content of the new books was based on “documents available in history”.

“More than 40 historians participated in the exercise and we checked the sources cited by them. I do not want to indulge in unnecessary politicization but I think it is important to present the right facts before the younger generations. For this, adequate efforts have been made,” he said.

He further said that more than 10 lakh copies of the new history books for grades 6 to 10 will be distributed starting from the new session. They will also be available on the market from May 20.

He said the process of amending the books started in 2017. There was a meeting chaired by then Union Education Secretary Anil Swarup in April 2017 where it was decided that each state could “modify the history books in its own way”.

RSS, Hedgewar and more

The very first chapter of Class 9, book “Social and Cultural Renaissance in India”, talks about the contribution of 20th century personalities like Maharishi Aurobindo and Keshavrao Baliram Hedgewar, the founder of RSS, to “push the movement of struggle for freedom using the idea of ​​cultural nationalism.

“It has played a vital role in the social, cultural and intellectual awakening of Indian society.

On page 11 of this chapter there is also a detailed essay on Hedgewar, where he is called “a great patriot and one who professed revolutionary ideas during his lifetime”.

The book contains detailed descriptions of Hedgewar’s political life, claiming that Congress once refused to pass a resolution based on his idea of ​​absolute freedom for the country.

The book also contains passages devoted to the RSS, claiming that it was “against the caste system and untouchability”.

“Savarkar’s contribution cannot be described in words”

Decades after his death, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s legacy remains fiercely contested.

But the fourth chapter of the book is devoted to his role in the struggle for Indian freedom. “Savarkar was a staunch supporter of Hindutva and also strongly opposed the partition of India,” the book states.

The book also claims that Mahatma Gandhi had requested Savarkar’s release in Young India magazine in 1920 – a claim that what opposition parties have in the past called a distortion of facts.

The book makes no mention of how Savarkar was released from prison. Savarkar’s critics said he apologized to Britain’s leaders to get out of jail.

Indus Valley Civilization and ‘Saraswati-Indus’ Civilization

In the Class 10 history book, what used to be called the “Indus Valley Civilization” is referred to as the “Saraswati-Indus Civilization”.

Saraswati, a river mentioned in ancient Indian texts, is considered a “river around which ancient Indian civilization began”.

MS Jaglan, who taught Geography at Kurukshetra University, in a post on Facebook shared an article of his own on this topic.

He claimed that the tools used to prove the mythological hypothesis about the existence of the Saraswati River are inadequate.

“In the Indo-Ganga divide (from the foothills of the Himalayas to the coast of Gujarat) itself, there are many paleochannels (ancient waterways buried under sediment). Remote sensing scientists have identified various paleochannels in the area.Many of them enthusiastically asserted that the channels they had identified were those of Saraswati.

“This conclusion was in accordance with their mythological beliefs rather than based on historical fact. According to their findings, there are dozens of Saraswati-owned canals throughout this region. But no one can paint the full picture because its construction is beyond their academic competence,” he wrote.

Jaglan further wrote that it is strange that land records from the Mughal period are cited to prove the existence of a river during the prehistoric period. “Science cannot be used to prove a myth; it should be used to remove haze,” he added.

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