Rajasthan schoolgoers are set to learn more about “local and national” heroes, while lengthy chapters on “foreign rulers and personalities” like Akbar the Great, Pythagoras and Issac Newton would be nudged out, thanks to primary and secondary education minister Vasudev Devnani.
Devnani, an RSS face in the Vasundhara Raje government, is working on rewriting 6.5 crore textbooks that will be circulated in the state’s schools in the next academic session.
The minister, who earlier hit headlines when he introduced compulsory surya namaskar in schools, feels students are being overfed with stories on “foreign” personalities.
“Why should our children only learn about Akbar, the Great? Why not Maharana Pratap, the Great?,” he asked. “Our children are constantly learning about foreign rulers, mathematicians, scientists et al,” he added.
“Soon after I took charge, I wanted to rework the textbooks but I was told printing had started and making changes would cause a huge financial loss,” This year, we will bring significant changes,” he added.
Some of the names Devnani wants to include in the new textbooks are Veer Savarkar, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Suraj Mal and most prominently Maharana Pratap, who he insists, should have ‘The Great’ suffixed to his name. “Of course, we will include Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.
He added: “In science books, we will include Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya. We have to build a feeling of of nationalism in our children.”