MUMBAI: The Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) on Thursday said it would step up its protest against the Telangana government for “distorting” history and teaching chapters covering “fake” incidents on Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji in a state textbook.
The HJS has taken exception to the chapter named The Lost Casket in Class VI text book Our world through English.
The chapter elucidates on how British soldier John saved Shivaji’s life and in turn Shivaji returned John a casket, which his Army had seized during a raid on the British camp in Surat. HJS members on Thursday held a day-long protest at the city’s historic Azad Maidan, vowing to intensify the demonstration if their demand for making the correction was not heeded.
As per the chapter, John reaches Shivaji’s durbar in Raigadh in search of the casket, but the Maratha king tells him that he will not be allowed to take it back as it was the state’s property. However, John is allowed to stay at Raigadh for three days. During his stay, John sees a Maratha soldier attacked by three armed men. The Maratha soldier swiftly reacts to the attack. At that point, John falls on one of the attackers and prevents him from attacking the soldier. The paragraphs in this context read: “John had no weapon except for a stout stick, but he struck the last attacker with it and knocked him to the ground. The next man turned towards John and thrust his sword under his arm, but it only plunged into his thick overcoat. As he withdrew the sword, John fell on him, and using all his strength, threw him down and pinned him to the ground. He then turned to the remaining two men.”
“To his surprise, he found that the lone Maratha soldier was none other than the great Shivaji himself. Though his enemy was taller and stronger, Shivaji more than made up for this by the quickness of his movements and his swordmanship. His sword flashed like lightning and he soon drove it through the heart of the attacker.” The HJS has said that the said incident in the text book was “fake”.
“The Telangana government is trying to glorify Christians by introducing false history. We are going to protest against the government across Maharashtra and Telangana. We demand that the Telangana government should withdraw the book immediately,” said HJS spokesperson Ramesh Shinde. It also has taken exception to three questions in the exercise at the end of the chapter.