Punjab Historians Claim Distortion of Sikh History in School Books
They called them “private scandalous books” and the students “victims of the scandal”.
A group of Sikh intellectuals and historians on Tuesday, 6 October, complained that the history books of Classes 11 and 12 that have been in circulation for a decade and cleared by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), presented Sikh history in a “distorted” form.
The complainants included Kendri Singh Sabha chief Gurpreet Singh, Sikh intellectual Gurtej Singh and historian Professor Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon.
They demanded a registration of a case against the books, which were produced by private publishers and were being distributed in the classes until the last academic session, for “hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikhs”. They described the students as “victims of the scandal” and demanded a vigilance probe, the report added.
“For the last 10 years, the students were being taught distorted Sikh history. Will our community tolerate this? We also protest against the government move to use the existing books. History moulds the character of students. The existing books should be immediately banned.”Gurpreet Singh told The Indian Express
He also said that since the books were still in circulation, Section 295-A of Indian Penal Code “should be registered against those responsible”, the report added.
Gurpreet’s statements were corroborated by Professor Dhillon, who called them “private scandalous books”, which were not written by first-rate scholars. He added that Gurtej and him were ready to write new books in 10 to 12 days, if the government gave its permission.
He also said those who passed the books were “either unfair or incapable”.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) protested against the alleged distortions, following which five chapters in the revised history book of Classes 11 and 12, which had been uploaded on the PSEB website to be used in the current academic session, were withdrawn on the directions of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Commenting on this development, SAD spokesperson and former education minister Daljit Singh Cheema said the books were passed on the basis of academic-level decisions made at PSEB level, where experts would clear the books of private publishers.
“There is no political input,” he told the newspaper.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)
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