While Mughal emperor Akbar was “great”, it was beyond understanding why someone would object to Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap being called the same, Home MinisterRajnath Singh said in Pratapgarh, 400 km from here, on Sunday.
Singh, who was in Pratapgarh to unveil a massive eight-metal statue of Maharana Pratap, also said history taught in Indian school books had not adequately recognised Maharana Pratap’s contribution.
“Maharana Pratap became an icon for freedom fighters because his name evoked a strong feeling of love and sacrifice for motherland. Even the Vietnamese were inspired by him and it helped them in defeating a powerful country like the US,” said Singh. The Home Minister said while he had no objection in calling Mughal emperor Akbar “great”, Maharana Pratap was in a different league.
Lauding Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje’s move of including Pratap’s story in the state school syllabus, Rajnath said he would request HRD minister Smriti Irani to include the same in the CBSE curriculum.
Referring to V S Naipaul’s book India: A wounded civilization, Singh said “India (was) the only country in the world where history written by foreign historians is taught in textbooks. Indian historians should pay attention to eminent authors like Naipaul and take corrective measures”.
Singh also announced that the Centre, for the first time, had decided to celebrate Maharana Pratap’s 475th anniversary across the country. The NDA government had formed a committee to oversee the celebrations, he said. He further said the anniversary celebrations would also be held in other countries with Indian immigrants.
Last month, Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani had said the state government would include tales of “local and national heroes” besides stories of Akbar the Great and other “foreign” figures like Pythagoras.