ADDITIONAL District Judge of South Delhi Shri Inderjeet Singh summoned the chairmen of Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) for teaching the defamatory textbook to the students of 10th standard. The summons were also issued to Goyal Brothers Prakashan (publisher of the book) and DN Kundra, writer of the defamatory book directing to appear in the court on September 21.
The summons were issued on September 17 on a suit filed by Shri Dina Nath Batra, national convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, Shri Ved Prakash Kumar, Dr KV Paliwal, Shri Ramgopal Aggarwal and Shri Gauri Shankar Bhardwaj seeking deletion of the defamatory, derogatory, insulting and objectionable passages referring to freedom fighters of Indian National Movement from the History and Civics Part-II course book of ICSE Board being taught to 10th standard students. In the chapter Revival of Terrorism the freedom fighters Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal have been described as ‘militants and extremists’ while Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev have been referred to as ‘terrorists’. The counsel for plaintiffs is Ms Monika Arora.
The plaintiffs prayed the Court to order for deletion of the objectionable passages from the aforesaid book. They also requested the court to direct the ICSE Board to stop teaching the textbook with immediate effect since the misleading knowledge is poisoning the minds of young generation towards our patriots. The court was also requested to order the Union of India, ICSE Board and Council for Indian School Certificate Examination to develop a mechanism at both central and state level so that the textbooks are scrutinised before publication by a special committee of experts comprising of all the stake holders in education.
“We are deeply aggrieved by the defamatory, derogatory, insulting and objectionable language used to refer to the freedom fighters who laid down their lives for getting freedom for our country and the people. It is very unfortunate that despite getting freedom in 1947, such objectionable and insulting portions regarding our historical past have not been removed from the course material and the young minds are continuously being taught that the people who fought for the freedom of the country were terrorists, extremists, militants who led to Indian unrest,” they said in the suit.
The objectionable book, History & Civics Part-II section B, deals with History (The Indian National Movement). Chapter IV of the section B is titled Radical Nationalism or Rise of Extremism. The book says, “Tilak is known as the Father of Militant or Radical Nationalism or Extremism in India. Tilak, the father of Indian unrest, was the most gifted member of the Extremist Party.” (pp 117).
“Lala Lajpat Rai was also a great Extremist leader who worked for the spread of Militant Nationalism. He joined the Extremists in 1907.” (pp 118).
“Bipin Chandra Pal was also one of the eminent Extremist Leaders. In the beginning he supported the moderates but after the partition of Bengal, he joined the Extremists.” (pp 119).
“Origin of Revolutionary Movement: When the Indian youth saw that the strategy of making public speeches, holding processions and agitations had no effect on the English, out of desperation they took to terrorism. They took the path of shot and shell. The Partition of Bengal and the atrocities committed by the Government on the anti-partition agitators further added fuel to the fire. The terrorists remained more active from 1907 to 1914, though their movement continued till the independence of the country.” (pp 120).
“Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal wanted Swaraj through revolutionary means and a continuous struggle. They came to be called the Extremists or the Nationalist Militants. They guided the National Movement from 1905 to 1919.” (pp).
“Tilak is known as the Father of Militant or Radical Nationalism or Extremism in India. He was also called the father of Indian unrest.” (pp 122).
“Lala Lajpat Rai was a great Extremist leader who worked for the spread of Militant Nationalism. He joined the Congress in 1888 and the Extremist Party in 1907. He infused a new spirit and confidence in the people of the Punjab.” (pp 122)
“Many young Indians were desperate for freedom and took to terrorism to get rid of British Rule. They were active from 1907 to 1914.” (pp 123).
“Chapekar Brothers killed British officers who were notorious. Abhinava Bharat was formed in 1904 by VD Savarkar, Khudi Ram Bose and Prafulla Chaki threw a bomb on a carriage they thought was carrying a British officer, Kingsford.” (pp123).