SAD claims chapters on Sikh gurus ‘expunged’; CM refutes, says have added content
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab on Saturday claimed that chapters on Sikh gurus have been “expunged” from Class-12 history books of the state education board, but chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh dismissed as “malicious” the opposition party’s allegation.
SAD spokesman and former education minister Daljit Singh Cheema demanded a high-level probe and stern action against the alleged development in the Punjab School Education Board’s books. “It is shocking that the state’s own school board has expunged the history makers of Punjab from the history books of Punjab,” said Cheema in a statement.
There were 23 chapters carrying information about Sikh gurus, warriors and historical facts about Punjab in the Class 12 history book, the SAD leader said, claiming the content “has been replaced with a half-page description about the glorious period of the Sikh history”.
However, lambasting SAD leaders for trying to spread “misinformation” on a sensitive religious issue, the chief minister said the fact is that the courses have “merely been realigned with the NCERT syllabus to enable the students from Punjab to compete at the national level”. He added it clear that “not a single chapter, nor a word, had been deleted by the Board”. The history chapters had been now spread across Classes 11 and 12, on the recommendation of an expert committee, which had a representative from the Sikh body SGPC, he added.
Since the committee had felt that the students should be exposed to Sikh history from Class 11 itself, the chapters on Punjab and Sikh history had been shifted to Class 11, while India and modern history as well as modern Sikh history have been moved to Class 12, the chief minister said. As per the committee’s recommendations, the PSEB earlier restructured the physics and chemistry courses, he explained.
Far from removing any chapter on the Sikh gurus, the Board, under his directives, has in fact incorporated chapters on the lives of the four Sahibzadas (sons of Guru Gobind Singh) in the school textbooks to ensure that the youngsters also learn of their sacrifices, he said.
He said it is unfortunate that SAD, “which claims to be a guardian of the Sikh religious ethos”, is repeatedly “resorting to abusing religion to further their political interests”.