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NCERT brings out book to counter ‘Habib & Co’

If the Indian History Congress (IHC) produced a tome Index of Errors on the new NCERT textbooks, the NCERT has come up with a counter public...

Written by SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA | New Delhi |
September 5, 2003

If the Indian History Congress (IHC) produced a tome Index of Errors on the new NCERT textbooks, the NCERT has come up with a counter publication equally huge (246 pages) on Fallacies in the IHC Report rubbishing the Errors as ‘‘nitpicking by old school masters’’.

Authored by Makhan Lal, Meenakshi Jain and Hari Om — the NCERT’s new historians of ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary world — the book released by HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi rebuts the history of ‘‘Habib & Co’’ which only the ‘‘loony fringe or the lowest common denominator’’ is out there to cheer.

With cracker lines like ‘‘India’s history is a fit case for general overhaul,’’ NCERT Director R.S. Rajput writes in the introduction attacking ‘‘eminent historians’’. ‘‘There is no need to be apologetic for foreign invaders like Mahmud of Ghazni or Alauddin Khalji or Babur…The specious plea that Muslim sentiments will be hurt if some foreign invaders are shown in their true colours, actually constitutes an insult to our Muslim brothers and sisters…,’’ he is quite straight forward.

Lal, of course, says 80 per cent of the errors pointed out by Irfan Habib, Suvira Jaiswal and Aditya Mukherjee in the IHC report can be traced back to Romila Thapar and R.S. Sharma. The errors appear in the extracts/quotes the new authors used from the old NCERT texts of Thapar and Sharma. Similarly, Meenakshi Jain’s expresses surprise that Habib has objected as the points being debated were picked up from his own books/articles and that of his Leftist friends.

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And Hari Om, author of NCERT’s contemporary history and who forgot to mention the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, sees ‘‘only politics in the IHC’’ report.

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First published on: 05-09-2003 at 12:00:00 am

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