As NCERT plans to omit chapters containing Mughal History from history textbooks of class XI and XII, there is a wave of opinions flooding from all walks of life, here’s mine.
1. Mughal empire was one of India and Pakistan’s largest empires at some points of history for several decades covering large parts of Northern India, central India and at some point even North East India. People who have studied history are well aware that, no empire or dynasty remains in static and boundaries keep shifting from time to time, it is true for the British Royal Empire and so was true for Mughal Empire extending from 1526 post the battle of Panipat defeating Ibrahim Lodhi to 1858 when the Last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled to Rangoon after what is popularly referred as Sepoy Mutiny.
2. Mughal tradition amalgamated and assimilated with indigenous customs and rituals touched the life of many individuals and communities through a long running span of 332 years of India’s mediaeval history. Omitting history of the banality of existence of 332 years from the syllabus of higher secondary students is foolishness. Any student who studied in any of India’s CBSE schools would be aware that as far as history syllabus of class XII is considered it has 3 books, bifurcated along the broad timelines of Ancient, Medieval and Modern history, where tales of Mughal Kings and Chronicles was limited to mere one chapter. And nowhere did I find that the histories of the Mauryas or Rashtrakutas was given less emphasis than the Mughal history, nor it was the other way round where history books were ‘dominated’ by Mughal history.
3. Further , if I have to speak for Middle class Indians who send their kids to CBSE schools where NCERT is the bible for board exams then , it would be interesting to see that after class X very few students go for History as their core subject or stream in class XI because the Arts or Humanities stream is a highly discriminated and looked down upon stream in popular masses and further very few students make their careers as historians simply because the government does not provide enough job opportunities for students from this particular stream.
4. I fail to understand that a government who is not interested in creating enough job opportunities for Humanities students is ‘highly’ interested in omitting syllabus of the stream further abandoning students with critical insight to analyse the existence of a vast empire into black, white and grey columns. I understand that societies evolve and with age certain sections of the past become revitalising for a society, and in that case additions are welcomed with open arms, not omissions and re-writing. Govts should give that right to observers of history to compartmentalise various episodes of history and not take that task upon themselves.