Two weeks after Congress ousted BJP in Rajasthan, the Ashok Gehlot-led government on Saturday said it would review textbooks and other reference material that were revised by the Vasundhara Raje-led dispensation.
Rajasthan Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra said the roles of national icons such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru would be “restored” and it would be ensured that “their contribution is given due representation”.
“The government will review textbooks and other reference material that was revised by the BJP government,” PTI quoted Dostara saying. The minister has also directed education department officials to prepare a ‘status report’ that will have the details of the revisions made in the textbooks in the previous regime.
Additionally, Dostara has also called for a review of the BJP government’s decisions to provide “saffron coloured cycles” as part of development schemes. He said alleged favouritism in appointing RSS-backed officers on various boards and councils would also be reviewed.
In May 2016, Nehru’s name was dropped from Class VIII textbooks in the state, both as our first prime minister and as a prominent leader of our freedom struggle. Then, Gehlot and Sachin Pilot were quick to lash out at Vasundhara Raje’s government.
The textbook revisions were carried under BJP government as part of “curriculum re-structuring” by the State Institute of Education Research and Training (SIERT), Udaipur.
Before these changes were made, the chapter on ‘National Movement’ had Nehru prominently in a box titled ‘Major Leaders of National Movement’. However, in the revised chapter there is no mention of Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Madan Mohan Malviya or other freedom fighters.
Reacting to the omission of Nehru from the textbook, Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot had earlier told The Indian Express: “This is taking saffronisation to the next level. The BJP’s ideological bankruptcy has stooped to such levels that it is erasing the country’s first Prime Minister from school history books. But they should know that this does not mean they can erase Nehru’s memory and his contribution from the nation’s collective conscience. We will oppose this attempt to alter the nation’s history.”