Indian textbooks, Pakistan history curriculum, Omissions, Untold story, Truth, Unveiling, Historical education, Cultural bias, Education reforms, Controversies, top stories,

 Indian historians and students of history have long criticized the history curricula in Pakistan for its omissions and farcical narratives.

The Persian, Hindu, and Buddhist eras in present-day Pakistan are either absent or receive reluctant mentions as insignificant interruptions before the “genuine history” that begins in the eighth century with the coming of Arabs.

However, recent textbook purges in India show a similar disregard for history and facts, with the government seeking to alter how it was traditionally taught and cherry-pick what it wants students to learn – and what it wants to ignore.

Mughal Era and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: Erased from Indian Textbooks

The government has quietly edited textbooks to remove important chunks of history from India’s Mughal era, including the achievements of that Muslim dynasty, even though their legacy lives on in iconic architecture, cultural traditions, and much more.

References to independent India’s first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad – a senior figure in the country’s struggle for freedom from British rule, a close comrade of Mahatma Gandhi, and a beacon of Hindu-Muslim unity – have also been eliminated.

The Impact on Historical Scholarship and Education

This brazen bulldozing of history hurts both serious academic scholarship and access to the most basic facts for future generations. 

The medieval historical period is such a crucial era of India’s past – one when the country’s economic might reached its peak, among other achievements – and excluding it from the curriculum amounts to gross intellectual dishonesty.

Historical narratives are always open to alternate views, revision, debate, and healthy discussion, but omitting facts is an unacademic approach.

Message to Indian Minorities

Perhaps more than the harm to historical academic scholarship, these deletions can be conceived as a message to Indian minorities.

By obliterating important parts of India’s Muslim past from textbooks, the government seems to be giving in to those who believe that the country’s history and future belong only to Hindus.

Such steps can only polarize society, pose a challenge to the country’s inclusive growth, peace, and unity, and mark a new low for India.

The Way Forward: Acknowledging Muslim History as India’s Own

The government must discourage moves that further alienate Muslims and should, for instance, be revering freedom fighters such as Maulana Azad – a vehement critic of Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Two-Nation theory, which was the basis of the creation of Pakistan – rather than erasing their legacy.

India is home to 200 million Muslims eager to be part of the growth and development of the country. Instead of further segregation, they must be assured of their place in India.

That is only possible when the government acknowledges Muslim history as India’s own and embraces the country’s multiethnic past.