The Maharashtra education board of India has reduced the Mughal emperors’ reign to just three lines in history textbooks.
The board has revised history textbooks for classes VII and IX, removing almost all traces of the rule of the Mughals and the monuments they built, instead focusing on the Maratha empire founded by Shivaji, The Wire reported.
Till last year, students were taught that Akbar was a liberal and tolerant administrator and now they will be taught that he “tried to bring India under a central authority” and faced opposition from the likes of Pratap.
Shivaji, who was in the earlier textbook referred to as people’s king, will now be mentioned as an “ideal ruler”. Shivaji’s role in medieval history, and that of his family and the Maratha generals, has been expanded upon.
The new edition for class VII history book has also eliminated Muslim rulers in the country before the Mughal period, including Razia Sultana and Muhammad bin Tughlaq.
There is also no trace of the rupaya – first introduced as currency by Afghan invaders. The revised textbook for class IX, on the other hand, includes the Bofors scam and the Emergency of 1975-1977, The Wire further reported.
There’s no mention of Razia Sultana who was the first woman to rule Delhi and the omission of Sher Shah Suri who had forced Humayun to flee from India has been slashed off as well.
A member of the history subject committees for old and revised textbooks claimed that the need to revise the syllabus was felt in order to update history with modern events. According to Mumbai Mirror, Shinde said that“[the space given to] Mughal history has been reduced. Modern history needs to be incorporated.”
The revision of the syllabus was shared at a meeting held by a think tank promoted by the RSS thus the changes come to surface.
Raising objections about the cover of the new medieval history textbook for class VII, Kishore Darak, an independent researcher in curriculum and textbooks, told Mumbai Mirror that the cover was problematic for it displays saffron flags all over the map of the country, hence creating an faux image that the “Hindu samrajya existed in India during that period.”
“This is factually incorrect and reeks of a political agenda,” Darak said.
“We have looked at history from a Maharashtra-centric point of view. Even if it is the Delhi Sultanate or the Mughal rule and the medieval history of India, we have kept Maharashtra at the centre. It is a natural course as we are from Maharashtra.What’s wrong in that? In fact the central board books have very little about our state,” chairman of the history subject committee said justifying the move.