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Sikh History Being Systematically Removed From Indian School Text Books






The deletion of 23 chapters from the Class XII history book of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) —  pertaining to important aspects of Sikh history — has raised a storm in the state.

The PSEB - currently dominated by Hindutva forces - after ‘reviewing’ the syllabus, has reportedly removed the chapters concerning the history of Sikh Gurus and their teachings; Anglo-Sikh wars; the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and annexation of Punjab, among others, from the textbook.

While newly inducted Education Minister Om Prakash Soni claimed he was not aware of this, PSEB officials admit that certain chapters from the last year’s syllabus have been deleted to “bring the syllabus on a par with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

They added that these chapters would now be taught in Class XI, and the new textbooks were currently in print. However, the syllabus of class XI, circulated online to some schools, does not mention that Sikh history will be included in their textbooks.

It is learnt that while a print order for 11,000 history books was made, 3,500 have already been printed. The new syllabus of Class XII , without the above mentioned chapters, has also been shared online with the affiliated schools.

Among other important aspects of Punjab history that are no longer part of the Class XII history book are chapters on Sikh struggle against Mughals and Ahmad Shah Abdali and the origin and growth of Sikh Misls and Banda Singh Bahadar.

These have been replaced by chapters on modern history, early and medieval history and political and economic developments in these periods and the rise of nationalism and freedom struggle.

As the matter took political overtones with former Education Minister and SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema demanding a high-level probe and action against officials guilty of deleting chapters and wrote a letter to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Prof Gurmeet Singh Sidhu, Head of the Department of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, said the PSEB had in fact omitted major parts of Punjab history from classes XI and XII syllabus. Moreover, the history being put in their place is wrong and constitutes a distorted history.

“Removing Sikh history means we are depriving our students of knowing their past, which is highly damaging for any culture. I have read the new Class XII text book and I am shocked to find so many factual errors in the book, which shows that the board was least concerned about Punjab history,” he said.

The revised test books now have a bizarre interpretation of Punjab and Indian history with emphasis on Hindutva-generated mythology as well as lies and half-truths. 

[Courtesy: The Tribune. Edited for]

May 2, 2018


Conversation about this article

1: Tony Singh (Canada), May 02, 2018, 8:49 PM.

This is another obvious reason for Sikhs to establish their own sovereign state. We need to stop hoping for Indian benevolence and start taking care of our own affairs.

2: Gurjender Singh  (Maryland, USA ), May 03, 2018, 1:16 PM.

Sikh history is not being removed from class XII overnight. This needs years of preparation. This must have started during earlier governments and now continues under the present government. Who is to blame for this big injustice to Sikhs and Sikh history? This is very shameful that other states do not teach about Sikhs, now Punjab is following that 'national syllabus'. In fact, Punjab government should have asked Indian government to add Sikh history to the national syllabus. It is very shameful that even the people in Delhi are willing to forget themartyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadar who sacrificed his life to save Hindus.

3: GC Singh (USA), May 03, 2018, 2:48 PM.

When nations become enslaved and disarmed, their plight is pitiable as is evident in many parts of the world, including Kashmir and Punjab. Just recently, Sikhs had to approach Indian courts for the right to wear the Karra and Kirpan during exams! Last week, India Supreme Court's Hindu judges maliciously and outrageously questioned the need for the Sikh turban. This week we hear that 23 chapters from Sikh history have been removed from school books in Punjab. This is clearly a part of a dangerous and diabolical plan of the Hindutva gang which rules India and its complicit judiciary, to completely marginalize Sikhs, wipe out their identity and their history. The only solution for Sikhs to survive with dignity and honor is to have political, economic and military power in their own hands. Let there be absolutely no doubt that our enemy is very powerful, cunning, treacherous and determined to achieve its goal of complete assimilation and extinction of Sikhs through Chankayan tactics by using all tools of state power at its disposal.

4: Rup Singh (Canada), May 03, 2018, 9:31 PM.

After all that has happened to the Sikhs in India, they still continue to vote for Akali Dal, Congress, BJP, the very people who have caused us great losses of life, liberty and property. Will the Sikhs learn from history and do something to counter the enemy, or will they continue to blame the very governments they help elect for their plight?

5: Pardeep Singh (Fairfax, Virginia, USA), May 05, 2018, 12:21 AM.

Well, that country is heading toward suicide and very fast, courtesy of Modi and his blatant agenda of demonizing minorities, especially Sikhs.

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