The Maharashtra state education board has made a habit of getting historical facts wrong. The new Class 10 history textbooks, which more than 17 lakh students study to prepare for the SSC exam, have wrong titles for personalities, continents and books.
One of the many big mistakes, terms Africa of the 18th century the ‘unknown continent’ instead of the ‘dark continent’, a moniker it got for being covered by thick forests.
Another mistake, on the same page, has Adolf Hitler’s autobiography ‘Mein Kampf’ wrongly translated in English as ‘My Fight’ instead of ‘My Struggle’.
The textbook also refers to freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak as ‘father of the discontent of India’ instead of ‘father of the Indian unrest’.
“Such mistakes are a result of translating the book verbatim from Marathi,” said said Ravi D, a former school teacher.
Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) said they will rectify the mistakes in their monthly newsletter. “If teachers find any mistakes, they can report to us. We will publish corrections in our newsletter, which is subscribed by all our affiliated schools,” said an official.
However, teachers are worried that using these books might put students at a disadvantage in competitive exams. “I have to refer to the web every time I teach, so that I can give the correct information to the students,” said Sherine Castelino, history teacher at Holy Family School, Andheri.
In 2014, the book used a politically incorrect term to describe African-Americans; called the Suez Canal sewage; and spelt Gandhi as Gandi.