The revised syllabus of history textbooks of class VII and IX under the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education has either discarded or reduced the history of Mughal empire, Western history and even the regional powers like Cholas, Rajputs and the Vijayanagar to a few lines. Five chapters related to the rise and fall of India’s major dynasties have been condensed into a single chapter- India before the times of Shivaji Maharaj.
The history of Mughals and western countries, according to state education department and members of the History Subject Committee, was irrelevant for Class VII and IX students of schools. The members of committee also claimed that the revision was not a ‘political decision’ as it only happened after an elaborate process involving subject experts and teachers.
The syllabus focuses on the Maratha empire and warrior king Shivaji, besides Indian Politics post 1960. “The point of reference for Class VII is the Maratha empire, Maharashtra and India before and after Chhatrapati Shivaji. In Class IX, the point of reference is events impacting Indian political scenario,” said Sadanand More, head of the committee. The new syllabus has only included those events related to Mughal empire that had an impact on Maharshtra.
Earlier, the history books had chapters dedicated to rise and fall of Mughal emperors and their contribution besides detailed history of events that impacted Western countries, such as the French Revolution, Greek philosophy, American War of Independence etc.
The revised textbook has detailed chapters on the 27-year-old struggle of the Marathas against Aurangzeb. While the old textbook titled the chapter on Shivaji as ‘People’s King’, the revised textbook has renamed it ‘An Ideal Ruler’. While the old textbook had only touched upon the Sant movement and the Warkaris, there is an elaborate sub-topic on the same in the revised textbook.
A chapter called India and the World which earlier discussed developments in Europe and the Middle East during the medieval era has also been done away with. In other words, now students will not know how Indian numerals made their way across the world, the rise of republicanism in France (the preamble to our Constitution reads Liberty, Equality, Justice and Fraternity, a hat tip to those events). The rise of Islam in Arabia is also an important element that has been dropped.
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