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Home / Pune News / ‘Congress warns of agitation, wants bofors topic removed from History book’

‘Congress warns of agitation, wants bofors topic removed from History book’

Upset over the misleading information in the textbooks, Pune unit of the Congress party has threatened of launching an agitation

pune Updated: Sep 02, 2017 23:37 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
The text that upset the Congress party.
The text that upset the Congress party.(HT Photo)

Accusing the state government and Balbharati for intentionally giving misleading information about the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the new Class 9 History textbooks introduced this year, the Congress party has threatened to launch agitations.

Congress party’s Pune unit president, Ramesh Bagwe, and spokesperson Ramesh Aiyyar said that they wrote a letter to Balbharati and demanded to remove the objectionable matter regarding Bofors case from the textbook within a period of one week or face the agitations.

Political expert in international relations and defence issues, Srikant Paranjape, also raised objection over the chapter mentioned in the Class 9 History textbook. The Supreme Court had also given a clean chit to Rajiv Gandhi in the Bofors case. Despite putting these facts in front of the committee formed by Balbharati under the presidentship of Sadanand More, it retained the chapter as it is. 

The same book also has a chapter on the Babri Masjid case but, Balbharati did not mention the names of BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti who were involved in it, alleged Congress.

Answering a question on it, the Balbharati’s director, Sunil Magar said that as the court did not acquit the above mentioned names till the year 2000, the book did not have those references. 

Congress claimed that though the Supreme Court gave a clear judgement and a clean chit to late Rajiv Gandhi, the committee kept the Bofors case as it is whereas the names of BJP leaders involved in the Babri case were not mentioned in the book, showing political influence on the school syllabus. 

Congress leaders said that this issue was also raised in the Maharashtra Assembly and the then education minister Vinod Tawade promised to remove the controversial part from the History textbook. However, nothing was done about it. 

Now, congress party’s local unit gave an ultimatum of one week to Balbharati and said that if the controversial part is not withdrawn from the book, they will start an agitation next week. 

Bofors controversy 

The History textbook for Class 9 was introduced from the current academic year.

Second chapter in the textbook – titled as “India : Events after 1960” covers all major political incidents like creation of Bangladesh, emergency, formation of Janata Party government, assassination of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and Bofors case. 

Regarding Bofors case, the textbooks mentions, “He (Rajiv Gandhi) faces a lot of criticism in the context of corruption that took place during a defence equipment deal, especially the purchase of long-range cannons from a foreign company called Bofors. Political corruption became a crucial issue in the general elections that followed and the Congress party was defeated.”

ht epaper

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