Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 15, 2018-Thursday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

After Padmaavat row, Padmini gets a rewrite in Rajasthan’s history textbooks

According a draft prepared by the Rajasthan board, the portion in the text books which states that Delhi ruler Alauddin Khilji saw Padmini’s reflection in a mirror and was smitten by her and later attacked Chittor fort has been removed.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2018 19:00 IST
Urvashi Dev Rawal
Urvashi Dev Rawal
Hindustan Times
Padmaavat,Rani Padmini,Rajasthan history books
A cinemagoer takes a selfie in front of a poster of Bollywood movie Padmaavat outside a movie theatre in Kochi.(Reuters File Photo)

After the outcry over the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Padmaavat, the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) will omit some controversial references to Chittor’s queen Padmini from its history textbooks.

The RBSE is currently in the process of revising and correcting content in textbooks before the start of the new academic session from April. People familiar with the matter at the board said some changes have been made with regard to content on Padmini, the queen of Rawal Ratan Singh, the 14th century ruler of Chittor.

According to people familiar with the matter, after consultation, a revised draft has been readied and will be given to the board for approval.

According to the draft, the portion which states that Delhi ruler Alauddin Khilji saw Padmini’s reflection in a mirror and was smitten by her and later attacked Chittor fort has been removed.

The sub-head Padmini ki kahani (Padmini’s story) has been revised as Padmini ka Itihas (Padmini’s history).

A line that says that some modern historians do not accept Padmini as a historical figure has also been removed so as to avoid any controversy.

RBSE chairman BL Chaudhary said,“The changes have been accepted by the board and the new edition of the books will not have any inaccuracies like the mirror episode that were being taught for a long time.”

The changes come after HT had first reported last year that the class 12 history textbook continues to base the story of Padmini on Malik Muhammed Jayasi’s fictional account, Padmavat, written in 1540.

While there were protests the Rajput community over the film Padmaavat for allegedly distorting historical facts and showing queen Padmini in a poor light, no attention was paid to these ‘distorted’ facts being taught in the text-book.

After the HT report, school education minister Vasudev Devnani had asked the RBSE chairman BL Chaudhary to consult experts on the matter and remove any inaccuracies. Chaudhary had said the opinion of subject specialists would be taken.

The Rajput community led by the Shri Rajput Karni Sena had demanded a ban on the movie Padmaavat for misrepresenting facts. They had taken exception to Padmini being viewed as a fictional character.

They also contested the fact that Khilji saw Padmini’s reflection in a mirror as there were no mirrors in the 14th century in Mewar.

While making the modifications, the book, however, goes on to say that one of the reasons Khilji attacked Chittor was to capture Padmini, who, according to legend, chose to commit jauhar along with 1,600 other palace women, rather than be captured by Khilji.

The Rajasthan Board has been caught in controversies in the past for revising history textbooks. Among the changes that have been made include mentioning that Maharana Pratap defeated Mughal emperor Akbar in the battle of Haldighati, as well as apparently eulogising Veer Savarkar and sidelining Gandhi and Nehru while lauding the policies of the BJP government.

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 18:59 IST