This Article is From Apr 16, 2015

Akbar Demoted, Rana Pratap is 'Great' in Rajasthan Textbooks

The change in historical nomenclature is the brainchild of the state's education minister Vasudev Devnani


History is in for a radical, some are calling it 'saffron', change in Rajasthan. School text books being printed for the next academic session will see Akbar lose his traditional title of ''Great'', which will now be given to the person who fought battles against him - Maharana Pratap.

The change in historical nomenclature is the brainchild of the state's education minister Vasudev Devnani. He is the known RSS face in the Rajasthan government and he has justified his decision by saying that there cannot be two 'Great' kings from the same era, especially since they were adversaries.

There is, of course, the additional fact that Maharana Pratap was the Rajput ruler of Mewar, in what is now Rajasthan. So in the academic year, schoolchildren will find Akbar the Great downgraded, and the title passed on to Maharana Pratap instead. "Because Maharana Pratap fought against Akbar, both cannot be great. It is Pratap who was the great one,'' said the minister, adding: Of course we will continue to teach Akbar but only as another king in history , the title of greatness belongs to Pratap alone."

The makeover is certain to cause controversy, especially since the makeover doesn't end there. Medieval history is in for some changes as well, with the ancient Indian scientific discoveries of Aryabhatt and Bhaskaracharya  getting greater prominence over Newton and Pythagoras. Aryabhatt is credited with the discovery of zero in the place value system while Bhaskaracharya's work on calculus predates Newton by 500 years.

Opposition parties are already up in arms. "This is designed to please the saffron brigade," said Sachin Pilot, state Congress President. Coming on the heels of the controversy he generated by making Surya Namaskar compulsory in all government schools in January, the education minister's latest move is bound to generate another historical row.