Guwahati, May 07: The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) has decided to retain the chapters on the Mughal Empire in the Class 12 history textbook, despite the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) dropping them.
AHSEC, which mostly follows the NCERT curriculum, has revised the syllabus for 14 subjects in classes XI and XII for the upcoming academic session but has not made any changes to the history syllabus to avoid controversy.
The Class XII history syllabus under AHSEC has a separate unit named “The Mughal Court: Reconstructing Histories through Chronicles”, which discusses the Mughal court and politics. It also delves into the Akbarnama and Padshabnama.
Another unit, “Agrarian Relations: The Ain-i-Akbari”, provides a broad overview of the structure of agrarian relations in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Ain-i-Akbari, written by Abul-Fazl Allami, Akbar’s Vizier, in the 16th century, is a detailed document that describes the administration of Akbar’s empire.
According to a source in AHSEC, “The revised syllabus has been finalized from the examination point of view. The revision in several subjects has been done on the lines of CBSE so that students from both boards study the same contents. But AHSEC has not touched the history syllabus, and the history of Mughals will continue to be taught in Assam’s schools for the Class XII board examinees.”
The source further added that no change in the history syllabus was made, as it could draw criticism. “In Assam, no conflicting situation emerged for teaching Mughals in textbooks,” the source added. There was no outside political pressure on AHSEC to remove Mughals from the syllabus.
Assam’s history is closely linked to the Mughals, as the Ahom Army led by its general Lachit Borphukan defeated the mighty Mughal Army of Aurangzeb, led by Raja Ram Singh, at the famous 1671 Battle of Saraighat, which was predominantly a naval engagement.
While Muslim invasions towards Assam under the nawabs of Bengal at the direction of Delhi Sultans began in the 13th century that was led by Bakhtiyar Khilji, similar invasions continued till the time of the Mughal Empire.
The move to retain the chapters on the Mughal Empire in the Class 12 history syllabus has received mixed reactions from people.
Some have hailed the decision as a recognition of the contributions of the Mughal era to Indian history, while others have criticized it for glorifying invaders who ruled over India. However, the decision ultimately rests with the education board, and AHSEC has decided to continue teaching the history of the Mughal Empire in Assam’s schools.