Emperor Akbar, who’s that? Maharashtra textbooks board churns out ‘Muslim-mukt’ history for schools

History textbooks for Std VII and IX revised, Akbar’s reign reduced to three lines as focus shifts to Shivaji’s Maratha Empire: an exclusive report published by the Mumbai Mirror.

Taj Mahal: Missing from Maharashtra’s history textbook on Medieval India. Image courtesy: Pinterest.

Following a meeting organized by the state’s Education Minister Vinod Tawde at the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, an RSS think tank, the Maharashtra Education Board has churned out history textbooks for students of Std VII and IX which are virtually “Muslim-mukt”, the Mumbai Mirror reports.

The Standard VII text book has expunged chapters from the previous edition on the Mughals and Muslim rulers in India before them such as Razia Sultana, Sher Shah Suri and Mohammed bin Tughlaq.

Along with these rulers, also missing from the new textbooks is the architectural heritage they left behind: Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Red Fort.

Meanwhile the revised history textbook for Std IX has sections on Bofors and the Emergency declared by Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

Till the last academic year the Std VII history textbook had described Akbar as “a liberal and tolerant administrator who was a patron of learning and art”. The emperor was also described as one who had abolished the jazia tax on non-Muslims, prohibited the practice of sati and tried promoting a new universal religion, Din-e-Ilahi.

The same Akbar is dealt with cursorily in the revised textbook: “Akbar was the most powerful king of the Mughal dynasty. When he tried to bring India under a central authority, he had to face opposition.
Maharana Pratap, Chand Bibi and Rani Durgawati struggled against him. Their struggle is noteworthy”.

With Shivaji and his life as the focal point of the revised textbook, his family members and other Maratha generals have also been accorded generous space.

Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Sadanand More, chairman of the History subject committee of the Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research justified the overhaul of the textbooks: “Why should we not change? We have looked at history from a Maharashtra-centric point of view. 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,” More said.

Read the full report in Mumbai Mirror.




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