NEW DELHI

Rajput defends rewriting history books

NEW DELHI, JULY 24. Defending the decisions taken by him on rewriting of history textbooks in schools, the former director of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), J.S.Rajput, today said the "process that has started will not stop. We need to prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead... .I believe what I did was right and that I could have probably done better''.

Speaking at a panel discussion here as part of the Save Education Movement, the former NCERT director accused the UPA Government of trying to stall the release of some other publications that had been approved during his tenure.

Defending his actions, Mr. Rajput said he was not alone in the decisions taken, but had made the moves after a consensus was reached. "I had the support of others. No one person can change the character of an organisation,'' he said. Accusing the Left parties of trying to impose their ideology on students and confusing them by making them doubtful of the materials being read by them, Mr Rajput asked: "What kind of impression do you expect on a child by informing him that what he is reading is actually wrong? Now students have been asked to refer to another book if they find any communal part and then compare it with an earlier book to know the non-communal aspect of it. Is that fair on students?''

Describing the protest as an important one, senior journalist and Rajya Sabha member, Chandan Mitra, said the debate over the books was a small part of the big movement towards spreading a nationalistic outlook among the youth.

Raising the question why history had suddenly become central to the political debate in the country, well known journalist Swapan Dasgupta said: "History has been a sense of collective national memory for us. The question of specifics is not there as history was often conceived in epics, mythology and others forms of narration like songs or folk forms. But the role of memory has been reshaped in recent times, which is why it's important to know why this debate is gaining momentum,'' he said.

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