The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) said that it had no evidence to demonstrate that Mughal emperors had restored temples that were demolished in wars and it states the same in its textbook of history. This was discovered in an RTI application finding support for the argument made in the textbook.
The chapter tags the Mughal empire as “a unifying force,” referencing Abu’l Fazl, Akbarnama’s Mughal chronicler and poet. It discusses how the jizya was abolished by Akbar, and rewards and roles in the Mughal empire were granted to individuals from different faiths and ethnicities. However, in the paragraph claiming that after demolishing them, the Mughal rulers had restored temples, no source is provided.
There is an RTI application by Shivank Verma underneath the Right to Information Act about the information concerning the details in the book Themes of Indian History (Part II) of Class XII. Page number 234 of the history textbook says that All Mughal emperors gave grants to facilitate the construction and preservation of places of worship.
The application was lodged requesting proof of the argument made in the NCERT textbook. The petitioner requested two facts concerning the assertion, first, the source from which NCERT inferred that the Mughals had granted grants to restore temples demolished during the war under the Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb rule, and second, the number of temples restored by Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan.
In reaction to the petition, NCERT claimed that it did not have any details in the textbook about the argument. Professor Gouri Srivastava, head of the Department of Social Science Education and also the Public Information Officer, said that the information is not included in the Department’s archives.
It appears to be unclear about who is responsible. However, some people are assuming that NCERT is the culprit. With the National Council of Educational Research and Training being an independent government body, it is unclear who should be hired for the same thing. Yet netizens have not been deterred by this, and some are busy blaming political parties – both the UPA and the NDA.
The former IPS officer M Nageswara Rao tweeted that you can’t expect better from a historian whose Wikipedia is the key source. Do not toss out old, feudal, pre-modern, modern, post-modern Western terminological concoctions that do not have any relation to the Orient. The issue is not the temporality of Aurangzeb, but his genocidal bigotry.