A class 8 reference book for social studies used by private English-medium schools affiliated to Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) describe freedom fighter, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, as the ‘father of terrorism’.
Notably, Rajasthan State Textbook Board books are in Hindi, forcing the English medium students to seek help from reference books, News Agency PTI reported. However, the mistake seems to be unintentional as the concerned paragraph, on page 267 in chapter 22, was highlighting the role of Tilak in freedom movement.
The description is part of sub-topic “Incidents of National Movement during 18th and 19th century”.
“Many Indians raised their voice against the atrocities of the British Government. In his newspaper namely-‘Maratha’ and ‘Kesari’, Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote articles against all this in Maharshtra. These newspapers have been proof of their fight against injustice. Tilak demonstrated a path towards national movement, therefore, he is called as the father of terrorism” the book reads.
In the subsequent paragraph, the book says that Tilak ‘clearly believed’ that Indians cannot achieve anything by pleading to the British officers, and describes how he became a thorn in the eye of the British government.
Officials at the Student Advisor Publication Private Limited, which publishes the book, said the mistake had been rectified in the revised edition. Speaking to PTI, Rajpal Singh, a production official at the publisher’s office said, “The translators made the mistake. It had come to our notice and was corrected in the revised edition last month.”
The first edition was published last year. Historians say it is derogatory to call Tilak the father of terrorism.
“Tilak is one of the greatest soldiers of Indian freedom struggle who awakened Indian masses, especially in Maharashtra, to fight against tyrannical British rule,” NK Upadhyay, a retired professor of history at Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer, told Hindustan Times.