With the Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accusing the Congress government of deleting 23 chapters related to the era of the Sikh gurus in Class XII history books of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), the Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh on Monday warned them against playing politics on an issue involving religious sentiments and sensitivities.
Taking the Opposition over the issue of Sikh Gurus in school history books, the CM said the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal was making baseless statements on the issue, which he said had the potential to disturb the peace and harmony of the state.
He also condemned the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for joining the vilification campaign against the government without bothering to verify the facts of the matter.
Amarinder said besides misleading the people of the state, the Opposition parties were also playing with the careers and lives of school children by dragging them into a needless controversy.
Countering claims of the Opposition, the CM pointed out that it was during the Akalis regime, in 2014, when the decision to realign the courses with the National Council of Educational Research and Training’s (NCERT) syllabus was
He said Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) was party to all the discussions on the issue since his government took over in March, 2017.
The syllabus thus finalised was uploaded on the Board’s website in March 2014. The SGPC had then objected to the syllabus finalised for Class IX in 2015, while there was no consensus achieved on the course for other classes, he said.
“Eventually, after re-doing the syllabus, the books for Classes IX and X were published by the Board in 2016, and those of Classes XI and XII were decided to be published in 2018,” Amarinder said adding that there is no dilution of Sikh religious history in the course study.
He said the Class XI history book which was being cited and quoted in support of their allegations had not even been printed yet.
The CM said he had personally sought a detailed mapping of the old and new syllabus for Class XI and XII. Both clearly showed that not a single piece of information on the Sikh history or the Sikh Gurus had been dropped in the process of realignment, he said.
Meanwhile, the SAD has decided to hold a meeting of its core committee on May 3 to formulate an action plan to force the Congress government to re-insert all 23 deleted chapters related to the era of the Sikh Gurus back into the twelfth standard history book of the PSEB.