May 1, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh finally broke his silence yesterday over controversy surrounding removal of chapters on Sikh history from class XII books being published by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB). In a statement issued from Punjab CM office, Capt. Amarinder Singh targeted opposition parties maintaining that the opposition was trying to harm the ‘interests of the state by playing politics on an issue involving religious sentiments and sensitivities’.
Criticising Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) for raising concerns over changes in the text book, Capt. Amarinder Singh said that Sukhbir Singh Badal’s statements had ‘had the potential to disturb the peace and harmony of the state’. He also criticised the Aam Aadmi Party accusing it for ‘joining the vilification campaign against the government without bothering to verify the facts of the matter’.
He pointed out that it was during the SAD (Badal) regime, in 2014, when the decision to realign the courses with the NCERT syllabus was taken. Further, the SGPC was party to all the discussions on the issue since his government took over in March last year, said Captain Amarinder Singh.
The statement issued by CM office says: “It was on January 9, 2014 that an expert committee was proposed to be set up to discuss the issue of realignment and to finalise the History syllabus from Class IX to XII, said the Chief Minister, adding that the subject was discussed by the committee over a series of meetings held thereafter, with inputs taken from the Director (Assistant professor, NCERT). The syllabus thus finalised was uploaded on the Board’s website in March 2014. The SGPC had then objected to the syllabus finalised for Class IX in 2015, while there was no consensus achieved on the course for other classes. Eventually, after re-doing the syllabus, the books for Classes IX and X were published by the Board in 2016, and those of Classes XI and XII were decided to be published in 2018”.
“The Chief Minister further disclosed that soon after taking over the state’s reins, his government had written to SGPC in March 2017 for discussion on the issue of the History course realignment, given the sensitive nature of the subject. In response, the SGPC had deputed Prof Paramveer Singh of Panjabi University Patiala, who attended all the meetings held to deliberate on the matter”, the statement reads further.
Chief Minister said the Class XI history book they were citing and quoting in support of their allegations had not even been printed yet. Their charges that the chapters on the Sikh Gurus were missing from the books were not true.
He further said that the entire history of the Sikh Gurus has been retained in the realigned syllabus, with no cutting or pruning done. The chapters and materials on Sikh history had been organised in a more cohesive format for ease of learning, across Classes XI and XII, he claimed.
The CM Office also issued a document showing that how various topics of history were realigned during the revision exercise. The document is being reproduced as follows for the information of readers of Sikh Siyasat News (SSN):
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Related Topics: Aam Aadmi Party, Capt. Amarinder Singh, Congress Government in Punjab 2017-2022, Punjab Politics, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Sikh History, Sikh History Removed From Text Books of PSEB, Sukhbir Singh Badal