With just a few months left for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the State has announced that a chapter on Hindutva ideologue V.D. Savarkar would be added to the school curriculum.
The announcement was made on Thursday by State Education Minister Inder Singh Parmar, who described Savarkar as a great revolutionary, while accusing the Opposition Congress for ignoring his contributions.
“Congress governments did not give place to great revolutionaries of India in the pages of history; foreign invaders, and not patriots, were described as greats. We will include all such patriots in the new syllabus. Veer Savarkar, too, was a great revolutionary. His life, too, should reach our children,” said Mr. Parmar, adding that chapters on other freedom fighters and national icons would be included in the syllabus.
Alleging that leftist historians under the Congress and, before them, the British had distorted history, Mr. Parmar said that the Madhya Pradesh government would teach children the correct version as per the New Education Policy.
In making the announcement on V.D. Savarkar, Madhya Pradesh has joined neighbouring Uttar Pradesh where the government announced on June 25 that school students would study the life histories of Savarkar and Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) leader Deendayal Upadhyaya from this year. In Madhya Pradesh, however, it is not clear whether the announcement would be implemented from this academic session or the next.
The Congress has described the move as unfortunate. “We have read Savarkar’s letters apologising to the British. It is shameful to include such a person with other freedom fighters in history and is an insult to freedom fighters,” said Congress leader and Bhopal MLA Arif Masood.