Turning history on its head, the Sanskrit textbook for class VIII distributed in several CBSE-affiliated schools in Madhya Pradesh says that India won the 1962 war against China, The Times of India reported today.
The passage appears in the Sanskrit textbook "Sukritika Volume-3" in chapter eight, which is about the achievements of the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
"What famously came to be known as Sino-India war of 1962 was won by India against China," the book says according to the report. "During Jawaharlal Nehru's tenure as Prime Minister, China waged war against India in the year 1962. With efforts of Nehru, India defeated China."
The 1962 India-China war, which began on 20 October 1962, ended a month later on 21 November after China declared a ceasefire. It has gone down in history as a decisive victory for China.
The error in the Sanskrit textbook has come to light at a time when India and China are locked in one of the deadliest standoffs in decades at the Doklam plateau. In the midst of rising tensions, the Chinese media has published editorials reminding India of its defeat in 1962, with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley retorting that India had "learnt a lesson" from the war and the Indian armed forces are "fully capable" today.
Several academics and activists have raised concerns about the damage to tens of thousands of students who read misinformation printed in school textbooks.
Recently, the social studies textbook for class X in BJP-ruled Rajasthan was revised to portray Maharana Pratap as the victor of the Haldighati battle in 1576. "Akbar did not win the Haldighati battle against Maharana Pratap," it now says.
The Sanskrit textbook in Madhya Pradesh, published by Kriti Prakashan Pvt Ltd in Lucknow, is written by five authors, two of whom have passed away. Madhya Pradesh Parents' Association secretary Prabodh Pandya told TOI, "This is exactly what we have been fighting over for years but unfortunately our pleas fell on deaf ears. How much proof does government need to say no to books by private publishers? Isn't this blooper serious enough to make NCERT books mandatory?"
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