The Ashok Gehlot led Congress government in Rajasthan has axed the prefix ‘Veer’ from freedom fighter Savarkar’s name in the revised Class X social science textbook in the state.
According to the recommendations made by the textbook review committee set up by Rajasthan government on February 13 this year, Savarkar will be instead referred to as “conspirator who plotted the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi” and one who begged for clemency from the British government.
The new books of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) will be distributed in the market by the Rajasthan State Textbook Board (RSTB). This revision came to light after a specimen of the new textbook that will be made available for the next academic session was leaked to the media.
Similarly, in the revised history textbooks for class XII, Savarkar is addressed as ‘Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’. It describes how Savarkar, troubled by the torture inflicted on him in the Cellular Jail by the British, called himself a ‘son of Portugal’ in his second mercy petition on November 14, 1911. He sent four mercy petitions to the British. Following his freedom, it says Savarkar worked towards establishing India as a ‘Hindu nation’ and gave the call to ‘militarise Hinduodom’.
Savarkar opposed the Quit India movement in 1942 and the creation of Pakistan in 1946. After the murder of Gandhi on January 30, 1948, he was tried on charges of conspiring for murder and aiding Godse, but he was acquitted from the case, reads the new textbook under the Congress regime in Rajasthan.
The Congress’ self-absorption pulls them back from crediting India’s evolvement to anyone else apart from its own ancestry. In merely six months of ruling the Congress in Rajasthan is resolute not only to reverse the previous BJP Government’s decision to include the contribution of freedom fighters like Veer Savarkar in the school curriculum but also to portray him in a bad light because of their deep-seated hatred.
Congress has on several occasions attempted to malign Veer Savarkar’s contributions to India’s freedom by branding him as a “loyal colonialist”. So much so that Congress President Rahul Gandhi had tried to slander the freedom fighter sacrifices by portraying him a ‘traitor’ and a ‘British stooge’.
In May, when Congress had proposed this change in the school curriculum, 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.
Going by their disposition to oppose whatever Modi and his government says or does, Congress in Rajasthan had also decided to reverse the decision of the previous BJP government to include a portion of demonetisation in the political science textbook. It also removed the name of RSS ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s name from a scholarship test for secondary school students.