Historians Deplore Politics in Writing of History Textbooks on the Subcontinent

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India's largest peer body of historians today deplored the increasing intervention of political parties in modification and deletion of historical facts from textbooks saying it amounted to gross interference in academics.

Briefing newspersons at the end of the three-day Congress, IHC vice president and leading historian Irfan Habib said the peer body condemned all attempts of interference in freedom of academic debates and research.

"Noisy demonstrations were organised for deletion of a statement about Mahatma Gandhi's assassination in Prof N K Mangalamurugeshan's textbook on history and the government of Tamil Nadu had reportedly issued a circular asking all schools to consider that the whole clause in the relevant statement be deleted," the Congress noted.

On the oft-repeated demand of creating more space for history in school textbooks, the IHC noted that the official declaration that substance of history taught at schools needed to be changed and space for it reduced was unacceptable.

"While the study of more serious elements of history is curtailed and eliminated, to be replaced by 'interesting' but inconsequential 'facts', is a cause of grave disquiet. No adequate reason has, however, been given for the NCERT's failure to restore the history textbooks in use previous to the promulgation of saffronised textbooks," the resolution adopted at its AGM said.

Prof J V Naik of Pune University was elected general president for the 67th IHC to be held in Kurukshetra University next year.

Welcoming the NCERT's decision to stop further issuing of the saffronised school textbooks published by it during 2002-04, the IHC also said it was sane of the education body to abandon the 'so-called' national curriculum framework 2000 under which 'communal colour' was sought to be given to school education under the guise of instruction in religion.

"IHC recalls that it has resolutely opposed the curricular framework 2000 and exposed mischievous intent behind the kind of history that was provided in the saffronised textbooks," the resolution said.

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