The National Student’s Union of India (NSUI), the Congress’s student wing, on Wednesday claimed that a photograph of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was dropped and replaced by RSS co-founder and freedom fighter Vinayak Savarkar in Class X social science textbooks in Goa.
State NSUI president Ahraz Mulla said Savarkar has been identified as a revolutionary in the book. He said that a caption with the photograph reads: “In 1904, one of the prominent revolutionaries, who had the experience of revolutionary activity in India, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (popularly known as) (Swatantraveer Savarkar) founded Abhinav Bharat to guide the revolutionaries.”
The book earlier carried a photograph of Nehru at the Sevagram ashram in Maharshtra’s Vardha. The photograph, taken in 1935, showed the former PM with Maulana Azad and Mahatma Gandhi.
“Tomorrow, they will remove the photo of Mahatma Gandhi and question what Congress has done in 60 years. They have to ensure they do not change history, which our ancestors have given us and the fight which the Congress has carried out for Independence,” Mulla said.
The Congress had earlier accused the BJP of trying to “change history” and erase Congress’s contribution to the freedom struggle.
According to the state education department officials, the new syllabus was released in May.
Reacting to the development, director of state education department, Gajanan P Bhat, said, “I have asked the chairman of the Board of Higher and Secondary Examination to file a report and explain why the photograph of Nehru was removed.”
When contacted on the issue, the Board chairman, Ramakrishna Samant, said he will probe into the matter.
He said, that the Board of Studies – teachers selected on the basis of their background and years of experience – first sits and decides on the curriculum changes. “They don’t make changes or introduce new aspects everywhere. It is done only when needed. Then the entire list of changes go to the academic council and the convenors of all the studies gather and take it forward. I have asked the council to revert on how this was done,” Samant said.