Chandigarh, April 30
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) today banned three history books which allegedly portrayed Sikhs in a bad light.
PSEB chairman Prof Jograj said the decision was made following three investigative reports. “The reports were shared with the state government, which mostly accepted the contents of the report and issued instructions to ban the three books. The sale and teaching of these books in public schools in their current form were banned.
The Books — ‘ABC of Punjab History’, written by Dr. Manjit Singh Sodhi; “History of Punjab” by Dr. Mahinderpal Kaur; and “History of Punjab” by Dr. M. S. Mann – allegedly portray Sikhs in a poor light. These would also be carriers of disinformation concerning the struggle for freedom. Moreover, there were typos in the Gurbani quoted in these books.
The history books have been published by different houses based in Jalandhar and have been prescribed in the PSEB class XII history syllabus. The books have been in circulation for over a decade.
Earlier, learning of a complaint by SKM leader Baldev Singh Sirsa and a subsequent protest outside the PSEB office, Prof. Jograj formed a commission of inquiry and under the leadership of IPS Malhotra, former OSD to Director general school education. Malhotra had submitted his investigation reports some time ago.
Professor Jograj said that in addition to fixing the liability of various officers/officials at the helm when the books were allowed to be notified by the council, they would get to the bottom of the controversy and punish the culprits.
He said another book written by AC Arora and three others with similar content were being sold without board approval. An investigation into this is ongoing and action will be taken in accordance with the final outcome of the report, he said.
The problem had been dragging on for two months. While in opposition, the AAP had called for the books to be banned. Kultar Singh Sandhwan, currently chairman of Vidhan Sabha, also joined the protest in February.
Part of the Class XII curriculum
- Books on the history of Punjab by Dr. Manjit Singh Sodhi, Dr. Mahinderpal Kaur and Dr. M. S. Mann were part of the curriculum for Class XII
- On learning of a complaint, the president of the PSEB, Professor Jograj, had set up an investigation group, which recently submitted a report