//History texts worry experts

History texts worry experts

Statesman News Service
SANTINIKETAN, Jan. 30. — On the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian History Congress discussed steps taken by the Tamil Nadu government to remove a reference on his assassination in a textbook. Dr Irfan Habib stated: “In Tamil Nadu, noisy demonstrations were organised for the deletion of a statement about Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in Prof. NK Mangala Murugesan’s text book. The government repo-rtedly issued a circular asking all schools to consider a whole clause in the relevant sentence of the textbook as deleted.”
“In that line, Prof. Murugesan said that Nathuram Godse was a member of RSS and that he killed Mahatma Gandhi. It is an established truth, but in Tamil Nadu pressure was created to remove that. It is unhealthy for history, the government should have no right to interfere in the proceedings of history.” He informed that the Indian History Congress strongly criticised and opposed the decision.
The 66th Indian History Congress expressed concern over the reduction of “serious historical elements” in NCERT textbooks. In a proposal, it was resolved: “…official declarations that the substance of History taught at schools needs to be changed and the space devoted to it to be reduced, while the study of more serious elements of history is curtailed or eliminated (and) replaced by ‘interesting,’ but inconsequential facts, is a cause of grave disquiet.” The IHC is concerned with the way political agitations are organised and government interventions thereby ob-tained to modify or delete historical facts. It welcomed the NCERT decision to stop issuing saffronised textbooks published during 2002-04 and to abandon the so-called national curricular framework of 2000, which sought to impart school education in the guise of instruction in religion.
Dr Habib said: “The IHC recalls that it has resolutely opposed the curricular framework 2000 and exposed the mischievous intent behind the kind of ‘history’ that was provided in saffronised text books.” He also added that the IHC also criticised the government of India for not approving their proposal for commemorating the 400th anniversary of Akbar’s death. In a resolution at the Congress today, the government was asked to give reasons for its decision. The next session will be held at Kurukshetra Uni-versity from 28 to 30 Dec-ember. Twenty members were unanimously selected for the new executive committee.
Most faces are Leftist ones. The new president will be Prof. JV Naik from Pune. Dr Irfan Habib and Dr. Sabyasachi Bhat-tacharya have been selected as the vice-presidents while Prof. VP Sahu of Delhi University will serve as the secretary of IHC. Prof. Ganapati Subbaiya has been elected as a section president (Ancient India) and Prof. Sandip Basu Sarbhadakari has been elected as an executive committee member.

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