Maharashtra Board-approved history video for Class IX shows Aksai, Arunachal as 'disputed region'

Confusing representation: The YouTube video for Class IX students shows Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as ‘different’on the map of India  

Contradicting India’s official stand on Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh being integral parts of India, a video depicting an Indian map showing both regions as disputed has found its way into educational videos on the McMahon Line, recommended by the State government for Class IX students.

A Class IX textbook History and Political Science by the Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production & Curriculum Research for provides an opportunity for students to use digital platforms to study related issues by providing a QR code in textbooks.

The video from a non-governmental YouTube channel called Top Historical Events is prescribed for students to understand the McMahon Line. The video starts with an Indian map with the above-mentioned regions highlighted with red lines, despite the fact that both regions belong to India. The video goes on to narrate how China disapproves India’s claim to these regions. The official India map, however, has not been shown anywhere in the video.

Kishor Darak, an independent education researcher, said, “This is completely contradictory to the official Indian version. What exactly is the government is trying to achieve by showing these regions as different from the rest of the map of India? Secondly, it also raises questions on whether the government should promote private YouTube videos as study material for our students?”

More misinformation

The map isn’t the only objectionable material that has found its way to classrooms through videos. The QR codes provide access to two videos on Naxalism, both from private channels. One is a news report on Naxal activities by foreign media, and the other a trailer of a documentary on this issue. “One of the videos speak about the State’s assault on tribals. What are we saying here exactly? Very little research seem to have been done while choosing videos for students ,” Mr. Darak said.

Besides the videos, the text too has been termed politically biased, particularly against the Congress. While mentioning that late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was ‘criticised’ for corruption in the Bofors case, it also says political corruption became the main issue in the 2014 general elections, leading to the Congress’s defeat. The book, however, does not mention that Rajiv Gandhi was posthumously acquitted of corruption charges in 2004.

The textbook has refrained from mentioning that the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished, instead saying the issue became one of the most controversial till date. The Kashmir issue, too, has been kept limited to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.

The Congress’s Pune unit has registered its opposition to the manner in which historical facts have been misrepresented. In a letter submitted to the bureau, the party has asked the government to present history in its complete form without modifications.

Sadanand More, president, History Subject Committee which drafted the book said that he was not aware about the said video and will look into it. He said the Bofors allegations are part of history and the reason why Rajiv Gandhi was proved innocent was not mentioned because the textbook covers happenings till 2000, and court verdict came later. “We were absolutely unbiased in writing textbook. We have given due credit to all Congress PMs where it was necessary,” he said.

Mr. More said while the problems of Kashmir are well-known, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits has been neglected. "We as a bureau follow a policy of not going into details on communal and casteist matters. As we would not write about the Babri Masjid demolition, we have not written about the Sikh riots as well," he said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 2:39:32 AM |

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