A school textbook claiming that Mughal rulers had helped build and maintain temples has sparked outrage online. An NCERT history textbook for Class 12 had cited the reigns of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb to say that even when temples were destroyed during wars, "grants were later issued for their repair". And while this had irked many, the fact that NCERT seems unable to back up the statement has now caused an all-out tweet war.
"This is the biggest fraud with our country unearthed," read a rather dramatic tweet. Many however appear to be unsure about who to hold responsible, with some believing that NCERT is the culprit. With the National Council of Educational Research and Training being an autonomous organisation of the government, it appears to be unclear who should be hauled up for the same. But this has not deterred netizens, and others are busy blaming political parties - both the UPA and the NDA.
As the debate continued, an RTI query was filed, seeking the source of the claim published in the textbook. And the widely shared RTI response reveals that the organisation does not have any information available for the same in its Department files.
"Aurangzeb protected more Hindu temples than he destroyed. He employed more Hindus in his imperial administration than any prior Mughal ruler by a fair margin," contended historian Audrey Truschke recently. And with the NCERT controversy adding fuel to an already debated topic, many have focused their ire on her.
"Can't expect better from a historian whose primary source is Wikipedia. Don't throw Western terminological concoctions like ancient, medieval, pre-modern, modern, post-modern which have no relevance to the Orient. Issue is not Aurangzeb's temporality but his genocidal bigotry," tweeted former IPS officer M Nageswara Rao. He followed this up with the NCERT RTI response to back up his comments.
"All NCERT History text books were got written by JNU History department by the UPA 1 - complete Leftist propaganda. Bonfire of these books is long overdue," tweeted retired IAS officer Sanjay Dixit.
The RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas has also deposed before a Parliamentary Standing Committee about "distortions" in the NCERT textbooks. According to an Indian Express report, the organisation had been invited to depose on textbook reforms and to suggest the removal of "un-historical facts and distortions".
Take a look at some of the Twitter comments on the topic: