Chandigarh, November 1: Making it clear that he is against distortions of history at every level and by everybody, Punjab Rural and Urban Development Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Thursday urged Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Mr Gobind Singh Longowal to take action against distortions in history books published by the SGPC itself.
“It seems both Sukhbir Badal and Longowal are totally ignorant of even contemporary history otherwise they would not have tried to make distortions in now otherwise withdrawn text book for Class XII a political issue. Going by his style of functioning as the Akali Dal president, Mr Sukhbir Badal seems to have utter contempt for history. He would have otherwise known that similar distortions had occurred in SGPC books too that were withdrawn. He perhaps is not being told deliberately by people around them so that he continues to marvel in his ignorance”, he said.
Bajwa asked as to what action had been taken against the authors of the book on history in Hindi published by the SGPC and had to be withdrawn following protests in 2007.
He said as Sukhbir Singh and Mr Longowal seem to suffer from amnesia, it was just to remind them that this book ‘Sikh Itihaas’ in Hindi was published by the SGPC against which objections had been raised first in September 2007. Parkash Singh Badal was the chief minister at that time. The newspaper reports pointed out then that some of offensive passages called Guru Teg Bahadur, the 9th Guru of the Sikhs as a ‘thief’, the 6th Guru a ‘kidnapper’ and the 10th Guru Sahib a ‘coward’. Objections had been raised by former MP Mr Atinderpal Singh at that time. The distribution of the book was stopped.
He said it is the committee constituted by SGPC then to review its history books that is important in the context of the present controversy. SGPC Additional Secretary Joginder Singh headed the panel which had Prof. Balwinder Singh, Dr. Balwant Singh Dhillon, Dr. Kharak Singh, Dr. Kirpal Singh and Dr. Jasbir Singh Sambhar as members.
Bajwa said it is same Dr Kirpal Singh who heads the committee that was preparing the present Class XII book that has now been withdrawn.
He also referred to ‘Gurbilas Patshahi 6’ edited by then Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti that had to be withdrawn following severe criticism for distortions.
He asked Sukhbir why double standards now. Was action taken against the authors then or had he raised this issue himself or had been referred to by Badal who headed the Akali Dal, he asked.
Bajwa reiterated that the agitation by Akali Dal and SGPC planned by Mr Sukhbir Badal was part of the sinister design to create disturbance in the sensitive state for illusory political gains.