The mention of freedom fighter Abdul Rasool Qurban Hussain’s name along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru instead of Sukhdev in a Marathi textbook printed by Balbharti has led to demands from organisations that the book be withdrawn.
The issue was raised by a Mumbai-based teacher, who put out a social media post highlighting that rather than taking the names of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev together, the latter’s name has been dropped and Qurban Hussain’s name included. The post said Sukhdev should have been mentioned instead of Qurban Hussain, as the freedom fighters are known in public memory as a trio who fought together.
The teacher stated that this can hurt public sentiments
After the post, there were demands that the book be withdrawn. Anil Dave, associated with the Brahman Federation, said it was a mistake on the part of Balbharti and called for the book to be withdrawn.
The chapter in the book titled “I love my country” has a conversation between an adult and children, in which a child says, “Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Qurban Hussain faced the gallows. They had true love for this country.”
Balbharti director Vivek Gosavi on Friday evening issued a statement clarifying that the chapter is a reproduction of a text titled “Pratigya” by late writer and author Yadunath Thatte. “A committee of poets, litterateurs and writers is appointed to decide which poems and articles will be included in a language textbook. In the said chapter, the writer has written about patriotism through an interaction between teacher and students. Giving information about freedom fighters is not intended. Moreover, the committee has no right to make changes to the original text or its intent,” said the statement, adding that there is no question of hurting anyone’s sentiments. The statement further said, arguing that Qurban Hussain’s name should not be there is not logical.
The statement said that Chapter 10 of the same textbook talks about armed freedom struggle, where Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev are duly mentioned as a trio of freedom fighters.
When contacted, the teacher, who did not want to be identified, said, “The post was not a complaint, but a query that I posted in a group comprising educators. Since the trio is usually named together, students would have asked me why Sukhdev is not mentioned. I wanted to understand the aim of the late writer. However, it was unnecessarily given a religious colour and was blown out of proportion.”
Qurban Hussain was from Solapur. He along with three other freedom fighters were arrested on charges of killing two policemen of Mangalwar Police Station. He was hanged on January 12, 1931. His statue is installed in Solapur city at Hutatma Chowk.
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