Is India rewriting History by removing Mughal History from Books?

Following the editing of books to eliminate references to Mughal history, the Indian government has been accused of rewriting history.

Is India rewriting History by removing Mughal History from Books - f


"You cannot change the history of the country."

The Mughals, a ruling family who dominated much of India between the 16th and 19th centuries, had their history chapters removed from textbooks.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is presently in charge in India, has been vocal about its goal to rewrite the nation’s history and reject what it refers to as the “slave mentality” of colonial rulers.

Amit Shah, the Minister of Home Affairs, said in a speech in 2019:

“It is our responsibility to write our history.”

Many textbook changes have been made after the BJP took office in 2014, prompting accusations of “saffronisation” of the curriculum in schools and institutions from detractors.

References to the Mughals have frequently been changed or eliminated in recent years, whilst Vinayak Damodar Savarkar has been referred to as a “great patriot” and the “most celebrated freedom fighter.”

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) released new versions of history and political science textbooks, and some of the changes – some of which were discreetly implemented without the customary public notifications – raised controversy.

Many references to the Gujarat riots have also been removed from textbooks by NCERT, according to an examination of the textbooks by the Indian Express newspaper, which made the modifications public.

For Modi, who was Gujarat’s chief minister at the time and was charged with involvement in the violence, the 2002 riots are a particularly delicate topic.

The government recently forbade a BBC documentary that examined Modi’s involvement in the riots.

All social science textbooks for students between the ages of 11 and 18 no longer include the riots as a result of the most recent modifications.

To “streamline” the curriculum and lighten students’ loads in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, NCERT has also taken chapters on the Mughal courts out of history textbooks for students aged 17 and 18.

The textbook revisions were strongly criticised by historians and opposition parties.

According to Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the opposition Congress party said:

“You can change the truth in books, but you cannot change the history of the country.”

The omission of Mughal history from the textbook, according to Aditya Mukherjee, a professor of contemporary Indian history at Jawaharlal Nehru University, is an effort to “weaponize” and “erase” history to serve the government’s political purpose.

Mukherjee said:

“Whenever we have witnessed erasure of a particular community from our history, it is usually followed by a genocide of the community.”

Dinesh Saklani, the head of NCERT, said all revisions had been approved by an “expert panel”.

He added that it would be inappropriate to “blow them out of proportion”.

According to Gopal Krishna Agarwal, the national spokesperson for the BJP, it was “not rewriting history” but rather a way to counterbalance the “biased approach” of some historians.

In response to an inquiry for comments from the Ministry of Education, the education department has not provided an answer.

Ilsa is a digital marketeer and journalist. Her interests include politics, literature, religion and football. Her motto is “Give people their flowers whilst they’re still around to smell them.”

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