Rajasthan Class VIII book calls Tilak as 'father of terrorism'

The private English-medium schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education are using the reference book. Twitter

The Rajasthan Board has once again landed in controversy after a Social Studies reference book for Class VIII described freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak as the ‘father of terrorism’.

Tilak’s description is part of sub-topic “Incidents of National Movement during 18th and 19th century”. As per the page 267 of chapter 22 of the book, “Tilak demonstrated a path towards national movement, therefore, he is called as the father of terrorism.”

The book further reads, “Tilak clearly believed that we cannot achieve anything just by pleading the British officers. Through Shivaji and Ganpati festivals, Tilak aroused unique awareness in the country. He instilled the mantra of freedom among the masses, due to which he became a thorn in the eyes of the British.”

The book has been published by a Mathura-based publisher. The private English-medium schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) are using it. The Rajasthan State Textbook Board publishes books in Hindi, leaving students with no other option but to use reference books.

While most of the academicians are of the view that before writing or making such controversial changes in texts, one should consult with the historians first. Historians, on the other hand, have called it derogatory to term Tilak as ‘the father of terrorism’.

The Opposition Congress has condemned the book. Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot told DH, “The book is an insult to the nation and the chapter should be removed. The ruling party has been damaging the history and the image of freedom fighters.”

Earlier instances

In 2017, Rajasthan state board schools gave prominent space to Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar, pushing the role of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru to the margins.

The BJP government had also tried to delete chapter on Nehru from school books and then retracted when the Congress opposed it aggressively.

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Rajasthan Class VIII book calls Tilak as 'father of terrorism'

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