Chandigarh: Sikh historian Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, Kendriya Guru Singh Sabha president Gurpreet Singh, former IAS officer Gurtej Singh and advocate Amar Singh Chahal on Friday said important chapters on Sikh history and gurus have been deleted from the Class 12 history book which distorts and misinterprets the gurus’ mission.
They expressed shock over what they termed as an “unwarranted restructuring” of the book by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB).
“There seems a mischievous attempt to undermine the revolutionary ethos of the Sikh gurus and their rich legacy. It seems to be an anti-Sikh agenda to negate the gurus’ ideological perspective aimed at uplifting of the masses”, reads a quote in Hindustan Times.
“The role of Singh Sabha movement, the Ghadarites, Babar Akalis and the Akalis has been ignored in the book,” they claimed.
“The new hybrid version of Sikhism being propagated in the book has no regard for Sikh sensibilities,” said Dhillon. The book has serious chronological anomalies, factual errors, language discrepancies, and incoherent observations,” he said.
They said the Punjab government should seriously take note of the issue.
The head of the religious studies department, Punjabi University, Patiala, on Friday claimed that the Class 12 history textbook is plagiarised, urging the state government to recall it and set up a committee of experts for writing the new book.
Prof Gurmeet Singh Sidhu said this while handing over a 15-page report on the textbook to chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and asked him to initiate action against the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) committee that approved the book and said the old book be taught for the time being.
Addressing the media, he said, “Actually, it’s not a history book. It’s a compilation of wrong information done with an ulterior motive,” he said.
“It is shocking that the book quotes some unknown experts, and does not focus on dates and events. It is more of political science than history,” he said.
Sidhu said he came to address the media in his personal capacity and the university has not deputed him.
Prof Rajiv Lochan of the department of history, Panjab University, Chandigarh, who was a member of the expert committee that finalised the content of the book, acknowledged that any book on Punjab history should not skip mention of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh master.