Raj govt to remove Jauhar photos from textbooks

The Congress-led Rajasthan government has decided to remove the pictures of women performing Jauhar (a custom of self-immolation by women during the times of Rajput Queen Padmini) from class VIII English textbook.

State Primary Education Minister Govind Dotasara said the review committee found the mention of Jauhar irrelevant in the 21st century, hence removed the pictures from the textbook.

“The BJP government had included images of women performing self-immolation in the English textbook. Did the BJP want to teach women to perform Jauhar? The message had no depth and the review committee also found it unfit and decided to remove it from the book,” Dotasara told DH.

According to historians, the practice of Jauhar has a significance in the history of Rajasthan, especially after the 14th-century Rajput queen of Mewar Rani Padmini (also known as Padmavati) and her companions protected their honour by committing Jauhar (self-immolation) to defeat Alauddin Khilji. The earliest source of this custom is Padmavat, a poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540 CE.

Chapter modified

On Monday, the state government decided to remove prefix ‘Veer’ from RSS idealogue Savarkar’s name in class X history textbooks, which was included by the previous BJP government in 2017.

“The biography on Savarkar, which was introduced by the previous BJP government, has just been done to glorify the RSS ideology and has no significance. The chapter portrays him as a freedom fighter, which is incorrect. Hence, the revision committee formed by the education department decided to remove sections of text which are inappropriate,” the education minister said.  

According to the review committee, “Savarkar had supported Britishers during World War II. He had also asked the British for clemency to skip jail term.”

The BJP lashed out at the Congress government over the revision of Savarkar’s biography.

“The Congress government is doing cheap politics by removing Savarkar’s freedom struggle. He remains one of the legendary patriotic heroes,” former education minister and BJP leader Vasudev Devnani said.

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