Saturday, June 22, 2024

Parliamentary committee on text books: Sikh, Maratha history missing; Vedas ignored

A parliamentary committee said in its recommendation noted that educational content for students should be “free of biases and it must be reviewed to assess how Indian freedom fighters are depicted in school history textbooks. 

A major chunk of the panel’s observations was related to history textbooks. “The committee during its interaction noted that many of the historical figures and freedom fighters of [the] Indian freedom struggle have been portrayed in an incorrect manner as offenders. Therefore, the committee is of the view that wrong portrayal of our heroes of freedom struggle should be corrected and they should be given due respect in our history textbooks,” it said.

The standing committee on education, women, children, youth and sports, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Vinay P Sahasrabuddhe, in its report, also asked for the inclusion of Sikh and Maratha history in the curriculum, as well as gender-inclusive literature.

“There is a need for discussing and reviewing, with leading historians, the manner in which Indian freedom fighters, from various regions/parts of the country and their contributions get a place in History textbooks. This will result in a more balanced and judicious perception of the Indian freedom struggle. This will go a long way in giving due and proper space to the freedom fighters hitherto unknown and oblivious in the freedom movement,” stated the report. 

The panel further noted that school textbooks should incorporate the “ancient wisdom, knowledge and teachings about life and society from the Vedas and other great Indian texts.” This may also include knowledge from Agam Literature (scriptures from Jainism).

The committee had begun work on a report on school textbook revisions, with an emphasis on deleting references to “un-historical facts and distortions” regarding India’s national heroes and highlighting the role of women achievers.

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