In a news that is likely to stir massive outrage, the new class VIII social science textbooks in Rajasthan have reportedly omitted all references to India’s first Prime Minister and noted freedom fighter Jawaharlal Nehru. According to a report by Indian Express, names of several other freedom fighters have also been given a miss in the books published by Rajasthan Rajya Pathyapustak Mandal, which are used as texts in schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education, across the BJP-led state. The book includes names of several freedom fighters and revolutionaries like Subhas Chandra Bose, Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh etc but is curiously silent on Nehru, whose contribution to the freedom struggle and subsequently after India’s independence is unquestionable. The report states that the textbook revision was done at the behest of the State Institute of Education Research and Training (SIERT), whose goal was ‘restructuring’ of the curriculum. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the report, the restructuring resulted in the complete omission of Nehru’s name in the textbook. In the previous edition, the chapter on the National Movement mentioned Nehru prominently. However, the current edition of the book, which is yet to hit the market but is available on the website of the publisher, omits his name. Curiously, even Madan Mohan Malviya’s name is missing from the new edition of the book. Malviya was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna by the Modi government last year. Sarojini Naidu also doesn’t find a mention. According to the report, the chapter on post-Independence also makes no mention of Nehru, although it mentions Rajendra Prasad as India’s first President and also the role played by Sardar Patel. The textbook also fails to mention Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination by Nathuram Godse, the report said. Interestingly, Sardar Patel is a Congress icon who the BJP has tried to appropriate in recent times, pitting him against Nehru. Pandit Nehru was the PM of the country for 16 years. So complete omission of his name is unlikely to impart wholesome knowledge to the students.The BJP government of the state though has washed their hands off the entire controversy. School Education Minister Vasudev Devnani told Indian Express that he is yet to see the textbooks and the books are written by an autonomous body without government interference. A team of eight academicians have designed the new social science book. The book has also dropped the ‘Great’ reference to Akbar, something the education Minister had ‘promised’ earlier. Hence, how independently the book was written remains a question. State Congress chief Sachin Pilot has slammed the development calling it the result of BJP’s intellectual bankruptcy. He said that the party will oppose such attempts to change the nation’s history and said it will not be possible to remove Nehru’s name from people’s mind.

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All references to Jawaharlal Nehru omitted from new Class VIII text books of Rajasthan