Jaipur, May 8 (IANS) The Rajasthan unit of the Congress on Sunday reacted strongly to the “removal” of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s name from the new textbooks for classes sixth to eight in the state’s schools.
State Congress chief Sachin Pilot told IANS on phone: “It’s absolutely unacceptable that the BJP is working in a vindictive manner by not even mentioning India’s first prime minister in the textbooks.”
Pilot said the party will agitate on the issue and approach the union government as well as the governor and might even seek legal opinion.
“We will not allow this sort of deliberate elimination and deletion of (the names of) big leaders from textbooks as it is unbecoming of any elected government,” he added.
Pilot said that they (Bharatiya Janata Party) have proven that they are taking politics to a lower level.
The Congress leader said that Nehru’s contribution to the freedom struggle and as the first prime minister of independent India is enshrined in history.
“The BJP can change textbooks but it can’t rewrite history. We condemn this act. The Congress will oppose the Rajasthan government’s move and ensure that these kind of things are not allowed as it shows a clear vindictive nature of the BJP.”
He said Hindu leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is mentioned in the books but not Nehru.
“This shows the kind of mindset the BJP is working with. It is very unfortunate and very sad that they are coming to such low levels of politics.”
Media reports said Nehru’s name had been given a miss in the new textbooks to be made available in the market soon.
These books, uploaded on publisher Rajasthan Rajya Pathyapustak Mandal’s website, are used by schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan’s Minister of State for Education (Primary and Secondary) Vasudev Devnani said he was yet to see the new textbooks and will be able to comment only after seeing them.