Akshay Kumar says the history books have “less about Prithviraj Chauhan, more about Mughals”. Is he specific in his request?

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Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar has been heavily criticized on Twitter after he said history textbooks lacked information on Hindu kings and the education ministry needed to strike a balance.

Akshay Kumar plays the main character of the Rajput warrior king in the historical action drama Samrat Prithviraj alongside Manushi Chillar. The film will hit theaters on June 3. Image Courtesy: @akshaykumar/Instagram

Why are Bollywood stars prone to foot and mouth disease? After Ajay Devgn learned that Hindi was not our national language, it was Akshay Kumar’s turn.

Superstar Akshay, who hits the big screen on June 3 in Samrat Prithvirajwas heavily criticized after saying that children’s history textbooks are full of information about the Mughals but contain hardly any lines about Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan.

What did Akshay say?

Akshay Kumar did a massive promotion for his upcoming movie Samrat Prithvirajwhich hits theaters on June 3.

Akshay plays the main character of the Rajput warrior king in the historical action drama alongside Manushi Chillar.

During an interview about the film on Wednesday, Akshay lamented the lack of information about Hindu kings in history textbooks in India and added that the Ministry of Education should take notice of the matter.

In the interview he said, “It’s sad that we don’t know about our own kings.”

“There were only three or four lines about Samrat Prithviraj in the history books I read. Through this movie I learned a lot about him. I don’t think anyone else know him too,” he added.

“When I was talking about him (Prithviraj) to my son, he said ‘I know the British Empire, the Mughal Empire, but who is he?’ So it’s a sad thing that we don’t know about our own kings. There were only a few lines about Rana Pratap, Rani of Jhansi. But there are a lot of chapters about Mughals,” he said. -he adds.

The 54-year-old actor urged the Ministry of Education to try to strike a balance and introduce more of ‘our’ culture, the Hindu kings, into textbooks.

Akshay Schools Twitter

Shortly after the interview, people on Twitter reacted negatively to Akshay and asked him to clarify the facts.

One netizen wrote: “Clearly @akshaykumar never went to school in India or studied in NCERT textbooks. He had to be educated in the RSS shakhas.

Another Twitter user pointed out that the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Class VII history textbook has an entire chapter on Prithviraj Chauhan.

A Twitter user also asked if Akshay was talking about textbooks in India or Canada, a mockery of his Canadian citizenship.

Others also latched onto an earlier comment he made about ‘education not being a priority’.

Mughals versus Hindu kings in textbooks

The representation of Mughal rulers vis-à-vis Hindu kings in history textbooks is not a new issue put forward by Akshay Kumar; in fact, it’s been going on for a few years now.

In July 2021, a research report by Director of the Public Policy Research Center (PPRC) Sumeet Bhasin, scholars Chandni Sengupta, Deepa Kaushik and Sanket Kate, titled “Distortions and Distortion of India’s Past: The Handbooks of history and why they need to change,” said the NCERT history books give “disproportionate attention” to Mughal rulers.

The report said there were on average 97 references to Emperor Akbar, 30 references to Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb and Jahangir each, compared to only eight mentions of Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji, and almost no references to Rajput Kings Rana Sanga and Maharana . Pratap.

Likewise, in 2017, the Class VII textbook was revised, removing large parts about the Mughals and Muslim rulers before them, including Razia Sultana and Muhammad bin Tuqhlaq. The textbook then kept Shivaji as the focal point of medieval Indian history.

This expanded his role as well as that of his family and the Maratha generals. On the other hand, the paragraphs about Razia Sultana (the first woman to rule Delhi) and the various eccentric decisions of Muhammad bin Tughlaq (moving the capital of the empire, replacing all the parts overnight) as well as the reign of Sher Shah Suri had all been abolished. .

Textbook controversies

The textbook debate is not limited only to the issue of Mughal rulers versus Hindu kings.

In Karnataka, there has been fierce controversy over the “saffronization” of books; the chapters on the revolutionary and freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, the ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan, the social reformer Lingayat Basavanna, the pioneer of the Dravidian movement Periyar and the reformer Narayana Guru were reportedly dropped from the curriculum or severely curtailed.

Also, a speech by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar has been added to the X-class language manual.

With contributions from agencies

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