It’s time to review our history books…

Our history books arefull of details and discussions on Delhi Sultanate, Mughal rulers, Mughal architecture and the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian freedom struggle. Doesn’t this incomplete and biased history bother you?

Each one of us, despite our dislike for history, remembers the lessons we read in class 9 and 10 in our NCERT history books. They are full of details and discussions on Delhi Sultanate, Mughal rulers, Mughal architecture and the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian freedom struggle. Doesn’t this incomplete and biased history bother you?

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Why do our history books only talk about what Gandhi did? Why don’t we learn about what Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chandrashekhar Azad and Maharana Pratap did for the freedom? Most of the history books don’t even mention what Sikhs did for the freedom of India.

Our history books don’t even narrate the story of Battle of Saragarhi which is considered an iconic event when 21 Sikhs faced over 10,000 Pashtuns at Saragarhi and won.

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It has been rightly said that History is written by the winners and the winners in Indian History have been foreign invaders. First it were foreign invaders and later the Britishers. Though Britishers were the recent invaders but our history is highly biased in favor of Islamic rulers as they left a very strong legacy and culture in India.

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How will our children come to know about the valour and sacrifices of vernacular heroes if our history books don’t even mention that?

Noticing this void, I had requested Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi Ji to direct NCERT to include a chapter on the life of Chaar Sahibzaade (sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji were lovingly called Sahibzaade). My request has been accepted and soon our NCERT history books will include a chapter on the story of Chaar Sahibzaade and their unparalleled sacrifice.

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But this is not just about Sikh history or Chaar Sahibzaade. Right now, our youngsters are facing a worse identity crisis and they need to discover their heroes. They should be made aware about countless Bhagat Singhs, Maharana Prataps and Rani Laxmi Bais.

If we do not raise our voice now, our kids will be left to imagine that the only fascinating part of Indian history was centered around Mughals and they will have to read through Google about heroes like Baba Banda Singh Bahadur!

 

NCERT to include a chapter on Chaar Sahibzaade in its textbooks

What motivated me to take up this mission is the zeal to make the next generation aware of  supreme sacrifice made by Chaar Sahibzaade for the nation and humanity.

Every time I shared some post or video about the story of Chaar Sahibzaade, friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook would express their desire to know more. Many often said that their story should be taught as a part of our history books. Today, I am so glad that from next academic year, NCERT books will include a chapter narrating the story of Chaar Sahibzaade.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has agreed to consider inclusion of a chapter on ‘Char Sahibzaade’ of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji in its syllabus from next year.This was communicated by NCERT.

WhatsApp Image 2017-12-22 at 4.31.00 PM The credit for the same goes to out Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narinder Modi Ji. I had urged him to issue suitable directions for accomplish this task.

In a communiqué written to me on the issue, the Secretary of the NCERT Major Harsh Kumar stated that Director NCERT has appreciated my concern regarding inclusion of story of ‘Chaar Sahibzaade’ for their unparallel valour and supreme sacrifice in India.  He informed that new policy of education is in progress which will give direction for development of National curriculum framework, syllabi and curricular material for schools.  His letter states that this suggestion will be  placed before the expert committee/text book development committee while developing syllabi and curricular material for social science  in general and history in  particular.

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What motivated me to take up this mission is the zeal to make the next generation aware of  supreme sacrifice made by these four Sahibzaadas for the nation and humanity. There is no parallel in the world of the sacrifice they made at such a tender age. That’s why it is imperative for the children of the nation to know how and when  incidents of historical importance took place which shaped the destiny of the country.

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I now urge all the education boards of different states to include chapters on history  of supreme sacrifice in their syllabi so that children studying in these states can get equipped with these incidents of historical importance.

I also seek support of all in requesting our PM Modi Ji to consider dedicating Children’s Day to the life of Chaar Sahibzaade. That would be true tribute to their supreme sacrifice.

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S. Dyal Singh Majithia lives on through his contribution to education

The problem with our history is that it has many unsung heroes and S. Dyal Singh Majithia is one of them. He did for North India what Raja Ram Mohan Roy did for Bengal. Yes, he made a significant contribution to Education in pre-independence era.

Who was Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia? 

well, he is much more than a name of one college!

The problem with our history is that it has many unsung heroes and S. Dyal Singh Majithia is one of them. He did for North India what Raja Ram Mohan Roy did for Bengal. Yes, he made a significant contribution to Education in pre-independence era.

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He was a firm believer of the fact that Indians need to adopt English system of education and so he established a College of the most modern kind. It was he who made available latest books to the Indian people. We all can see many libraries all across Punjab and even in Lahore in his name.

He was a great philanthropist who marked a huge contribution in setting up of Panjab University Chandigarh as well. How many of us know about his selfless contributions?     He bequeathed his valuable assets including the lavish Mansions on the Mall Road and many similar properties in Lahore, Karachi, Amirtsar and Gurdaspur in 1898 to two trusts that later established the Dyal Singh College and Dyal Singh Library in Lahore.

He was a visionary leader who established many schools and colleges besides launching The Tribune newspaper, Punjab National Bank and host of other institutes and spent all the expenses from his own.

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But what is happening today? We have not only forgotten his contribution but also have turned thankless.

People who have done nothing for the cause of education are conspiring to usurp its land and property by treacherously renaming Dyal Singh Evening College as Vande Matram Vidyaleya. These people should be told that the land was owned by Dyal Singh Education Trust Society and the college infrastructure was also built by the Trust from its own resources.

I have full respect for Vande Mataram.  These two words enthuse all of us with positive energy.  That’s why I feel these words should not be used in situations prone to create controversies. ‘Vande Mataram’ is a highly regarded phrase for every Indian and any controversy built around it will be detrimental to its honour. What is more sad is that people involved in this renaming conspiracy are using the name of national song for their hidden agenda.

Moreover, Sikhs account for just 2% of Indian population. Any changes, subtractions or deletions with respect to Sikh iconic figures will send a wrong message in the community. Sikh population would feel positively inclined with nation’s ideology when they observe respect and honour for the legacy of a great man like Dyal Singh Majithia.

However, if people want to open Vande Matram Vidyala, they can do so in a new college or even University. We all will extend all possible support to such an institution.

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The Governing body of Dyal Singh Evening College not only took an illegal decision as it had no power to rename it but also has taken other controversial decisions. Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) strongly opposes renaming of Dyal Singh College of the city as Vande Matram Vidyaleya.

Any move to rename it will be opposed tooth and nail and it will also resort to protests on roads. We have passed a resolution condemning the act of the Governing body of the Dyal Singh College and ask them to withdraw their disputed proposal immediately otherwise DSGMC shall be forced to hold protests and take other necessary action to stop this process.

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I humbly request the governing body to revoke this decision.

Dyal Singh Majithia is not a person; he has been a revolution and revolutions cannot e made to disappear like this!