Row Over Class IX Text Book in Haryana Extolling RSS Founder Hedgewar

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Founding Sarsanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Keshav Baliram Hedgewar.

According to the report, the book dismisses the role of Congress in the freedom movement and describes the leaders of the grand old party as ‘power hungry and tired’ who supported partition of the subcontinent for their personal gains.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI –– Haryana School Board has courted controversy by introducing a new book eulogising founding Sarsanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Keshav Baliram Hedgewar as a hero of India’s freedom struggle for class IX.

This perception about Hegdewar goes against the established notion that the RSS had no significant role in India’s independence movement. In fact, it is said that while some Hindutva ideologues colluded with the British, others went on to seek clemency.

According to a report in the news outlet The Wire, the book dismisses the role of the Congress in the freedom movement and describes the leaders of the grand old party as ‘power hungry and tired’ who supported partition of the subcontinent for their personal gains.

As for another Hindutva icon, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the book, in its fourth chapter dedicated to his role in the Indian freedom struggle, claims, “Savarkar was an ardent advocate of Hindutva and opposed India’s division,”

The new book is going to be available from May 20 as the Board says old versions have been updated.

‘Social and Cultural Renaissance in India’, the title of the opening chapter of the book, discusses how 20th century figures such as Maharishi Aurobindo and RSS founder Keshavrao Baliram Hedgewar “pushed the freedom struggle by using the idea of cultural nationalism.”

An article on page 11 of the book says Hedgewar was  “a great patriot and one who advocated revolutionary beliefs during his lifetime.”

The book claims that by 1940, Congress leaders were worn out and no longer willing to  pursue the independence movement. “Some of Congress leaders sought Independence as soon as feasible in their eagerness to enjoy power at any cost,” it says.

The Muslim League had also been “constantly opposing Congress” on several subjects, according to the book. According to the book, the Congress, on the other hand, was eager to work with the Muslim League against the British government.

The chapter on Indus Valley civilisation in the book prescribed for class X is now titled ‘Saraswati-Indus civilisation’.

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