A new history book for Class 9 published by the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Haryana has sparked controversy for crediting the country’s freedom struggle to the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Baliram Hedgewar.
As reported by The Wire, the book further dismissed Congress’ role in India’s freedom struggle and called them ‘power hungry and tired’ politicians who supported the 1947 partition for their personal gains.
The book’s fourth chapter is dedicated to his role in the Indian freedom struggle. “Savarkar was an ardent advocate of Hindutva and opposed India’s division,” the book claims.
According to board officials, the new history book will be available on May 20. Other classes’ history texts have also been “updated.”
The opening chapter of the class 9 book, ‘Social and Cultural Renaissance in India,’ discusses how 20th-century figures such as Maharishi Aurobindo and RSS founder Keshavrao Baliram Hedgewar “pushed the freedom struggle by using the idea of cultural nationalism.”
A full article on Hedgewar can be found on page 11 of this chapter, where he is described as “a great patriot and one who advocated revolutionary beliefs during his lifetime.”
According to the book, in the 1940s, Congress leaders were “worn out” and no longer willing to pursue the independence movement.
In Hindi, the book says, “Some of Congress leaders sought Independence as soon as feasible in their eagerness to enjoy power at any cost.”
The Muslim League had also been “constantly opposing Congress” on several subjects, according to the book. According to the book, the Congress, on the other hand, was eager to work with the Muslim League against the British government.
In the Class 10 book of history, what used to be called the ‘Indus valley civilisation’ is now being called ‘Saraswati-Indus civilisation.’