Chandigarh, April 30
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) today banned three history books allegedly portraying Sikhs in poor light.
PSEB Chairman Prof Jograj said the decision had been taken following three inquiry reports. “The reports were shared with the state government, which principally accepted the content of the report and issued directions to ban the three books. Sale and teaching of these books in state schools in their present form have been banned.”
The books — ‘ABC of History of Punjab’, written by Dr Manjit Singh Sodhi; ‘History of Punjab’ by Dr Mahinderpal Kaur; and ‘History of Punjab’ by Dr MS Mann — allegedly portray Sikhs in poor light. These also allegedly carry disinformation regarding the freedom struggle. Besides, there were typos in the Gurbani quoted in these books.
The history books were published by different Jalandhar-based houses and were prescribed in the PSEB’s class XII history curriculum. The books were in circulation for over a decade.
Earlier, taking cognisance of a complaint by SKM leader Baldev Singh Sirsa and a subsequent protest in front the PSEB office, Prof Jograj had constituted an inquiry committee and under IPS Malhotra, former OSD to Director General, School Education. Malhotra had submitted his inquiry reports sometime back.
Prof Jograj said apart from fixing responsibility of various officers/officials at the helm when the books were allowed to be notified by the board, they would get to the bottom of the controversy and punish the guilty.
He said another book written by AC Arora and three others with similar content were being sold without board’s approval. An inquiry regarding those was on and action would be taken as per the final outcome of the report, he said.
The issue had been hanging fire for the past two months. While in the Opposition, the AAP had demanded banning of the books. Kultar Singh Sandhwan, currently Speaker of Vidhan Sabha, had also joined protest in February.
Part of class XII curriculum
- The books on Punjab’s history by Dr Manjit Singh Sodhi, Dr Mahinderpal Kaur & Dr MS Mann were part of class XII curriculum
- Taking cognisance of a complaint, PSEB Chairman Prof Jograj had constituted a probe panel, which submitted report recently