Negative comments in Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RSEB) textbooks regarding legendary warrior Maharana Pratap and his father Udai Singh II have riled not only the erstwhile Mewar royals, but also politicians and common people who have voiced their strong disapproval for the "twisting of historical facts".
While the Maharana has been described as someone who "lacked control and was impatient due to which he lost the Haldighati battle to Akbar", his father and Mewar ruler Maharana Udai Singh has been dubbed a "murderer".
The Class XII textbook claims on page number 101 that Maharana Pratap lost in the Haldighati battle as he was impatient and lacked moderation and control. The chapter entitled 'Muslim Invasion, Aim and Impact' further claims that the army head should always adopt patience even in adverse situations, something which Maharana Pratap lacked.
Also, facts related to the Haldighati battle have been removed from the social science textbooks.
In the Class X textbook 'Rajasthan ka Itihaas aur Sanskriti', Maharana Udai Singh II has been termed as a man who murdered one Balvir to capture the Mewar kingdom. Many history books on the other hand point out that Balvir had died somewhere in Maharashtra after he fled Mewar.
Mahendra Singh Mewar of the erstwhile Mewar royal family said that "attempts to tarnish the image of Rajput warriors Maharana Pratap and Udai Singh will not be tolerated".
"Who are these people who want to change the history of Haldighati," he questioned.
The Haldighati battle was fought between Mughal emperor Akbar's army led by Man Singh of Amber and Maharana Pratap's Rajput warriors in June 1576.
Another Mewar family scion, Vishvaraj Singh, condemned the changes in historical facts.
"History distorted to an absurd extent and included in textbooks for schools. Abundant display of ignorance and crass, boorish mentality of the decision-making authority(s) in peddling distortions to suit their own agenda. History itself will not be kind to them, nor to those who accept their ways," he said.
He said that people have come out against the state government by rejecting these changes to our rich history. "It can't be changed overnight by a book," he told IANS.
Lakshyaaraj Mewar, also a member of the erstwhile royal family, was also annoyed and said that both Maharana Pratap and Udai Singh II have been known as "real warriors who kept their nation intact till their last breaths".
Meanwhile, state Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara said, "Our committee will review the facts which are being argued upon. As per my knowledge, no new facts have been introduced in the book. I appeal to everyone to let me know what is wrong in the book and where and why it is wrong. Our committee of secondary education board will review them.
"The textbook also claims that Haldhighati was not named so due to the yellow colour of the soil but because many newly-wed brides jumped into the battleground dressed as warriors with turmeric-smeared faces. This claim has been taken from Mahendra Bhanawat's book 'Ajooba Bharat Ka'.
It further claims that the Mughal army was led by Jagannath Kachwaha though historians say it was Man Singh. Kachwaha arrived in Mewar eight years after the epic battle in 1576, say historical records.
Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat also criticised the "misleading information" on Maharana Pratap in school textbooks and said that the history of Marudhara has been insulted by the Rajasthan Education Department, which was unacceptable.
Rajsamand's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Diya Kumari criticised the development and claimed that the 'Congress government's historians' had insulted Maharana Udai Singh II, Maharana Pratap, and the Haldighati battle.
"By manipulating the personality of an ideal man like Maharana Udai Singh II, this government is bent on ruining the image of its great men. The act of tampering with history only takes place under the Congress rule. What kind of a message does the state government want to give to the younger generations?"
"Writing such shameful and false facts is a public insult to the great warriors who sacrificed their lives for the pride and dignity of the motherland," the MP said.
Congress Minister Pratap Singh Khachriyawas said these textbooks should never be allowed to reach students since these had "twisted historical facts".
"Strong action shall be taken against the committee which changed the facts. I will meet Chief Minister (CM) Ashok Gehlot on the issue," he added.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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