Maharana Pratap Won The Battle Of Haldighati: How BJP's Bid To Rewrite History Textbooks Sets A Dangerous Precedent
Hindutva agenda gone wrong.
INDRANIL MUKHERJEE via Getty Images
In this particular case, historian Tanuja Kothiyal tells The Indian Express, "That Akbar defeated Rana Pratap is a fact of history, but local sentiment and public memory have very different ideas. When Rajasthan came into existence in the 1950s, there was no other element bringing it together than the fact that it is a collection of Rajput states. So celebrating Maharana Pratap becomes crucial in forging a Rajasthani identity. However, just to accommodate public memory, one can't turn facts around. It would be very detrimental to history as well as to education."
In what is proving to be a dangerous trend, the right-wing government is trying to wipe out the history of the Mughals and other Muslim rulers to establish that India was primarily a 'Hindu' nation, where Muslims are the outsiders. This is clearly a way of furthering their agenda of building a Hindu nation.
This is not the first time the BJP government in Rajasthan has tried to tweak facts. It had, in fact, deleted any mention of Jawaharlal Nehru from the Class VIII social science textbook. The party's aim for a 'Congress mukt Bharat' seems to have percolated to textbooks.
In the garb of promoting Indian culture, this nationalist government is trying to wipe out the idea of the 'other', in this case of Muslim conquerers who have ruled India. But this portrayal of India as a homogenous, Hindu nation couldn't be farther from the truth.
From renaming streets to placing right-wingers at top positions in educational institutes to tweaking history in textbooks, the BJP-led governments at the states as well as the Centre are pushing their political agenda unchecked.
If this trend of promoting Hindu nationalism continues, who knows how India's history will remember the Godhra riots or the Babri Masjid demolition?
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