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Intolerance at its peak: Poems by Urdu poets to vanish from Rajasthan Textbooks

Students appeared for S.S.C exam on the first day at King George High School, Dadar- ABHINAV KOCHAREKAR.
Students appeared for S.S.C exam on the first day at King George High School, Dadar- ABHINAV KOCHAREKAR.

In its ongoing mission to revolutionize school education, Vasundhara Rage-led Rajasthan government is set to removed poems by Urdu writers Ismat Chugtai and Safdar Hashmi in Hindi textbooks, a leading daily reported.
The revamp of textbooks was taken on by the state government on August 24 to promote ‘local cultural practices and beliefs”.

According to sources short stories sought to be removed from text books include ‘Ek Din ki Badshahat’ and ‘Ajmer Ki Sair’ in class V, ‘Haleem Chala Chand Par’ and ‘Soot Ka Resham’ in class IV and ‘Chand Ke Khatir’ in class III from textbooks. The story revolve around Muslim characters.

The committee has suggested that the chapters be replaced with a life sketch of revered Sindhi community saints Tauram and Kawar Ram and a chapter on freedom fighter Hemu Kalani.

The reports said that the decision to remove these stories has been taken by education department’s textbook redoing committee, which has changed the curriculum in government schools from class 1st to 8th in just two months.

While educationists have criticized the move, a member of the textbook redoing committee told the daily, “These chapters and poetries were loaded with Urdu words which we believe are difficult for a majority of students to comprehend. Besides, they were highlighting practices of a particular community which is against our guidelines for redoing of textbooks.”

Reacting to this Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Thursday accused the government in Rajasthan of trying to saffronise education.

“Now, the attempt is to somehow saffronise and to somehow push and to endorse a certain ideology and to exclude some on the basis of religion is absolutely unacceptable. To my mind, the state of Rajasthan and nation will reject such attempts,” said Pilot