Rajasthan erases Nehru from Class VIII textbook

Students of Class VIII in Rajasthan's schools will no longer be taught about the contribution of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the freedom struggle or post-independence India as references to Nehru have been dropped from a text book, leaving the Congress fuming and threatening an agitation.

The references to Nehru have been removed from two chapters in the revised social science textbook which will be introduced from this academic session in schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education.

Though the book is not in the market yet, the information has been uploaded on the website of the Rajasthan State Textbook Board, which publishes the book for the state education board.

The deliberate omission has angered the Congress, which said the RSS-BJP combine can tweak text books but cannot rewrite history. Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot said his party would launch an agitation not only in Rajasthan but across the country over the issue, which reflected the petty-mindedness and narrow mindset of the RSS-BJP.

The book has references to Mahatma Gandhi, Veer Sawarkar, Bhagat Singh, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Subhas Chandra Bose and has included the name of a leader of the freedom movement Hemu Kalani, but there is no mention of Nehru either in the chapter on the freedom movement or that on India After Independence.

A revision of several textbooks has been carried out under curriculum restructuring by the Udaipur-based State Institute of Education Research and Training (SIERT).

"It is a well thought out strategy, a clear agenda of the RSS-BJP to erase the contributions of Nehru and such tall leaders," Pilot said.

He added, "It is their deliberate attempt to distort text books so that the young minds get a different taste of history which is not true. The RSS-BJP can tweak text books but cannot rewrite history and sideline the contributions of stalwarts like Nehru."