From the PIONEER
Staff Reporter | New Delhi
Amidst the ideological arm-wrestling of political parties of the country, history texts are always at the receiving end. The recent one is labelling the freedom fighters Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and Ram Prasad Bismil as 'terrorists'. The 12th class text books circulated by the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) has used the word "Aaatankwadi" (Terrorists) for the legends Bhagat, Azad and Bismil who sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle of India.
The words like Aatankwad, Aatankawadi or Aatankwadiyon have been used 11 times for the extremist freedom fighters in the text book's page no 170-171 in the chapter titled 'Bhartiya Rashtriya Andolan (1905-39)'. The book, published in July 2007 by Indian Printers Association under aegis of Central Government have been edited by Anita Priydarshni and co-ordinator Naina Dasgupta. The panel includes history scholars from across the country including top professors from Delhi University.
In a couple of instances a line says - "during the Simon Commission protests Lala Lajpat Rai was injured which infuriated the terrorists". At one point the text book says - "the terrorists under the banner of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association was led by Chandrashekhar Azad".
Enraged over the issue, senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Prof Jagdish Mukhi has written a letter to the Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh and NIOS Chairman M C Pant demanding immediate removal of the word terrorists used for the great freedom fighters. "They must use dignified words to glorify their sacrifices. They belonged to the Garam Dal and thus should be termed as Krantikari (. Calling freedom fighters as terrorists is undone and the people of India would not spare the writers who have committed such a blunder. This has been done at the instance of the ruling UPA Government and its supporters including the Leftists,"Mukhi said in the Capital on Thursday.