Social Scientist. v 20, no. 232-33 (Sept-Oct 1992) p. 73.

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Akbar in Pakistani Textbooks

It was in 1960s that under the new educational policy prepared by the American experts, the subject of history was discontinued from the school curriculum and replaced by Social Studies: a mixture of history, politics, economics and geography. Later on, the process of Islamisation transformed the subject of Social Studies into a propaganda of state ideology. Students are supplied classified information and only such parts of the history of the sub-continent are selected which prove the theory of Two-Nation and refute the existence of composite Indian culture. As Akbar does not fit in this framework; he is conveniently ignored and not mentioned in any school textbook from class one to matriculation.

On the other hand, Aurangzeb appears in different textbooks of Social Studies and Urdu language as an orthodox and pious Muslim copying the Holy Quran and sewing caps for his livelihood.

As the school textbooks are planned and prepared by the central and provincial Textbook Boards, all schools, private as well as government are bound to teach students these textbooks. And, this compels students to read only prescribed textbooks to pass their examination. The result is that those students, who study only upto matriculation do not find a single line about Akbar in their textbooks and therefore have no idea of the Mughal rule in India.

In the 1970s, the subject of Pakistan Studies was introduced at primary, secondary and university levels in order to make young generation conscious of the genesis of Pakistan. In the textbooks of Pakistan Studies Akbar is not mentioned directly but indirectly as a rival of Ahmad Sarhandi (d. 1624), who is projected as a hero challenging Akbar's religious policy and restoring Islamic values in India. Here I quote a paragraph from a textbook to give you an idea:

(Ahmad Sarhandi) a great Muslim saint and scholar who challenged the might of Akbar to revive and re-establish the glory of Islam in the Sub-Continent. The Mughal Emperor had introduced a religious philosophy known as Din-e-Ilahi. It was an ill fated


Social Scientist, Vol. 20, Nos. 9-10, September-October 1992

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