The Rajasthan government has initiated a controversy by proposing changes in freedom fighter and Hindutva proponent Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s profile in the school syllabus.

Three years ago, the then BJP government had introduced Savarkar in the school syllabus as a freedom fighter, a patriot and great revolutionary.

The new Congress government wants to change this profile and portray Savarkar as a man who sent four mercy petitions to the British government to get freedom after being tortured at the Cellular jail in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

This has triggered a war of words between the Congress and the BJP.

“The Congress hates Hindutva and is therefore trying to belittle the heroism of Savarkar, who is associated with Hindutva and the saffron parties,” said former Education Minister Vasudev Devnani.

“Biographies of revolutionaries were included in the syllabus so that children could seek inspiration from them. Changing the facts about their life is insulting them,” Devnani added.

Minister of State for Education Govind Singh Dotasara said the changes have been proposed based on the recommendations of a committee formed to review the school syllabus.

“There is no politics in this matter. But we will look into the matter if there are still any issues,” he said.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot too said: “Every party in power discusses and reviews a state’s education policy based on its ideology. The Vasundhara Raje government did so during her tenure. We are doing the same now. But the changes are still a proposal based on the recommendations of a committee formed to review the school syllabus.”