CI Issac, chairperson of the committee on social sciences constituted by the NCERT, said: “The modern history is largely about the British rule. Many national heroes did not find any mention…There is almost no mention of the Vedic age…The file is with the government now. The response has been positive.”
Ramayana, the journey of Ram as a king, his vanvas, his ways to rule, without dividing subjects, and other related chapters, are likely to be part of India’s ‘classical period’ in the history curriculum for schools soon, if the government accepts the proposals of the high-level committee for social sciences constituted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), News18 has learnt.
The committee has also recommended the use of ‘Bharat’ as the name of the country earlier, as part of its “decolonisation” of Indian history. Decolonisation has been a crucial social-cultural project of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), as the organisation, believed to be the fountainhead of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), wants to make important changes before it reaches its centenary year in 2025.
One of its important milestones was getting the Ram Temple built in Ayodhya. The temple is nearing completion and is scheduled to be inaugurated on January 22. The RSS has been working on its various outreach programmes to bring a social-cultural change and make the national narrative revolve around Lord Ram post the inauguration.
Speaking exclusively to News 18, CI Issac, chairperson of the committee on social sciences, constituted by the NCERT, said, “The ancient history of India, which is currently a part of the history curriculum, largely talks about the foreign invasion. Unfortunately, it elaborates on the forces which came from overseas, invaded us and ruled here.”
“The epic history and the history of the Vedic age are missing. Our children do not study about the golden era Bharat had. They don’t have Ramayana or Mahabharata in their syllabus. We, in our first meeting, proposed the inclusion of Ram, his journey from the north to the south, and how he brought everyone together while ruling. He never divided anyone. Why should we only read the history of the invaders, the battles we lost? Why should we not have the pieces depicting Bharat’s golden era,” he asked.
Issac, a professor who studied and approached history from an Indo-centric angle, was awarded the Padma Shri this year.
The seven-member committee, led by Issac, has also proposed to use the name of the country as ‘Bharat’ in history books, and put forward an idea of introducing a chapter of ‘classical history’. In its recommendation, the committee said that the classical history should include parts from Vedas, Vedic age, important pieces from the Ramayana and the journey of Ram as a king.
In addition, it said that the modern history, which currently includes the British rule, and some pages on the “ruler families”, also may include elaborate chapters on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Shyamaprasad Mookherjee, Chandrashekhar Azad and many national heroes who were pushed into oblivion, said Issac.
“The classical history may cover a period between the Vedic age and the Gupta period. There is almost no mention of the Vedic age, the epic history. We have only read the names of the Vedas. There should be more details,” he said.
“The modern history is largely about the British rule. Many national heroes who contributed to the freedom struggle immensely did not find any mention. The ones who were mentioned have not been elaborated upon. We also recommended elaborate chapters on some of our national heroes,” he further added.
Talking about the response he got from the government after submitting the recommendations, Issac said, “The file is with the government now. They are studying our recommendations. But the response has been positive.”