BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY
Mughals and Mughal history are largely discussed in Indian history textbooks, whether CBSE or State Board. As a result, practically every youngster understands everything there is to know about Mughal monarchs, whereas their knowledge of regional kings and kingdoms is very limited, owing to the fact that these subjects have always been shadowed in the textbooks. Either heroic revolutionaries such as Bhagat Singh are degraded by being referred to as “terrorists,” or a falsified history is taught. Many individuals have pointed out that our schools’ histories are highly skewed toward Mughal and British history.
The majority of the 154 pages of the seventh-grade history textbook were devoted to information on Mughals and other Muslim kings who had invaded Hindustan, whereas the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who fought the foreign Mughal aggressors and established Hindu state, was concluded in only four lines. When contrasted to its counterparts in the South and East, the Mughal Empire is given unparalleled significance in middle school history textbooks.
The culture is not only in middle school. In fact, the present NCERT textbook for high school students focuses two of the five chapters on medieval Indian history to the Mughals alone. The covering of post-independence history is likewise limited. It is mostly restricted to political history. Our achievements in science, engineering, space research, and medicine also have no place in our history texts.
Earlier this year, a controversy erupted after a photo from the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) history textbook went viral on social media, claiming that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb donated money to repair Hindu temples. According to the NCERT textbook, Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan built temples. The temples were destroyed during the conflict, according to page 234 of the 12th history book Indian History part-two. Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb later made gifts to rebuild these temples.
Take a peek at the tweets that are circulating on microblogging sites:
Its been six years but still fake history taught in school & colleges, until when? pic.twitter.com/bsRa4RrApC
— CA Ashutosh Soni (@CA_AshutoshSoni) January 14, 2021
Can’t expect better from a historian whose primary source is Wikipedia.
Don’t throw Western terminological concoctions like ancient, medieval, pre-modern, modern, post-modern which have no relevance to the Orient.
Issue is not Aurangzeb’s temporality but his genocidal bigotry. https://t.co/MrMA5I8fzb
— M. Nageswara Rao IPS(R) (@MNageswarRaoIPS) January 13, 2021
The dissatisfaction grew to such proportions that images of individuals burning textbooks became viral on the internet.
— Neeraj Atri (@AtriNeeraj) January 13, 2021
Following that, an RTI was filed demanding documentation supporting the claim made in the textbook, as well as the source of the assertion published in the textbook. According to a widely publicized RTI answer on Twitter, NCERT stated that it has no proof to indicate that Mughal kings repaired temples destroyed in conflicts, despite the fact that it asserts the same in its history textbook.
The NCERT is actively rewriting textbooks and expects to complete the process by 2024. Some committee members urged that it be pushed back to 2022 instead. One participant suggested that the Education Ministry look at how to adjust higher education curricula to correspond with changes in school textbooks.
It is unarguable that the legacy of the Mughal Empire deserves a special place in our history. The point is not that they should not be taught. The point is that it should not be the sole element taught at the expense of others. They must be taught in proportion to their importance in our archives. Neither more nor less. Our history books must cover the country’s history from all locations and eras. By omitting vital topics, these textbooks are keeping the future generation in great darkness. If these books are not appropriately revised, children will leave school with a very limited and skewed understanding of India. In the future, the limited knowledge of youth on the contribution of our great will come as no surprise.