The Congress government in Rajasthan has decided to change the class 10 school textbooks in the state, reversing the previous BJP Government’s decision to include the contribution of freedom fighters like Veer Savarkar in the school curriculum. Now, class 10 history textbooks would not portray Veer Savarkar as a patriot, in fact, it would depict Savarkar as a traitor who begged for clemency from the British government. This has been done under the state government’s decision to revert the ‘unnecessary’ changes made in the curriculum during the previous government.
Hitting out at Congress for this decision, BJP has said that they were insulting Savarkar by ignoring the suffering he had undergone and the truthful motives behind all his actions.
Vasudev Devnani, former education minister in the Vasundhara Raje government, claimed that the Ashok Gehlot government was trying to indulge in ‘Congressisation’ of education and following a policy of minority appeasement.
The BJP government had reviewed the school curriculum in Rajasthan and as part of “curriculum re-structuring” by the State Institute of Education Research and Training, had (SIERT) included Indian personalities like “Veer Savarkar, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Suraj Mal and Mahatma Gandhi” in History books, who they felt, have not been given their due in Indian textbooks.
The Congress had then lashed out at the Vasundhara Raje government alleging that the BJP government was attempting to saffronise Rajasthan’s education system.
Moreover, two weeks after Congress ousted BJP in Rajasthan, the Ashok Gehlot-led government had declared that his government would infuse new thoughts into the education system and review textbooks and other reference material that were revised by the Vasundhara Raje-led dispensation.
However, the fact remains that the Congress ecosystem, which blamed BJP of saffronizing the education system have themselves distorted Indian history by exaggerating the work and achievements of Jawaharlal Nehru and giving less importance to the work of other freedom fighters like Vallabhbhai Patel and Bhimrao Ambedkar and Veer Savarkar.
Congress has on several occasions attempted to malign Veer Savarkar’s contributions to India’s freedom by branding him as a “loyal colonialist”. Such is the deep-seated hatred, that Congress President Rahul Gandhi had tried to slander the freedom fighter sacrifices by portraying him a ‘traitor’ and a ‘British stooge’. A few days back, in the Congress plenary, Rahul Gandhi commented that the Savarkar begged for clemency to the British, unlike Gandhiji who spent 15 years in jail.
Notably, Gandhi’s arrests and unconditional releases by British shows that the jail experience of Savarkar and Gandhi cannot be compared. Savarkar spent 27 years in jail and under prison-restrictions between 1910 to 1937. He was sentenced to 50-years imprisonment and transported to the infamous Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (“Kaalapaani”) on July 4, 1911.
Unlike other British jails where Gandhi spent his time, the Andaman’s cellular jail had the worst conditions. It was reserved for the worst enemies of the British empire in India. Gandhi was never sent to cellular jail. And thus, Gandhi and Savarkar can never be compared as far as their jail experience is concerned. Moreover, Gandhi was arrested and let off on several occasions and was not put through the kind of torture Savarkar was.
Nevertheless, with all facts being there on the public platform, for Congress to still peddle lies and mislead people about Veer Savarkar by calling him a ‘traitor’ and now insulting the freedom fighter further by distorting facts in the school curriculum reeks of nothing but hypocrisy. The Congress’ self-absorption pulls them back from crediting India’s evolvement to anyone else apart from its own ancestry.