Chandigarh: A controversy had erupted over the history book of Class XII with opposition parties including Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) charging the state government with deleting the history of Sikh Gurus from the history book of Class XII. However, the Congress-led government had rubbished such accusations and claimed that the chapters pertaining to Sikh history had been shifted from Class XII to Class XI.
Under attack over the issue of the content of history school books, the Punjab government today said it was willing to apologise and rectify if wrong words were used while accusing the opposition of making false allegations.
The state government also announced a ban on the publishing of Class XI and Class XII books by private publishers.
Three state cabinet ministers – finance minister Manpreet Badal, education minister O P Soni and jail minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa also accused private book publishers of being involved in “triggering” the controversy fearing loss of business.
“If a wrong word has been used in the book (Class XII), then it is a big mistake, we seek an apology for it and we will rectify the same,” said Randhawa replying to reporters’ queries here. Some journalists claimed inappropriate words were used in the state education board Class XII history book.
“If there are mistakes in the use of vocabulary, the Punjab government is ready to change them,” said Badal.
The three cabinet ministers were fielded by the state government to take on opposition SAD and AAP who have launched a relentless attack on the Congress government, accusing it of deleting the chapters of Sikh Gurus from the Class XII history book.
“Opposition parties are levelling (sic) wrong allegations. They just want to gain political advantage out of this issue,” alleged Soni.
There is no tinkering with the chapters on the Sikh history, he added. The history book of Class XI will include all the chapters, Soni added.
The education minister further said a new book is being published by the PSEB for the first time and will be available at a much cheaper rate as compared to what is charged by publishers.
“We have decided that Class XI and Class XII books will be given to students at lower rates and we will completely ban the books published by private publishers,” he said.
Badal said that he felt private publishers could be involved in triggering this controversy. “Private publishers may be involved in it because their business will be affected as PSEB will be coming out with the book at a much cheaper rate,” said Badal.
He also described AAP’s accusation that the CM was acting “at the behest” of BJP over history book issue as absurd.
Badal said the educational institutions run by the SGPC, Chief Khalsa Diwan and Adarsh Schools set up by the previous SAD-BJP regime were affiliated with CBSE and asked they did not fight with the central board to increase the content on Sikh history in their books.