The author speaks on the changes made in NCERT textbooks, Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb and more.
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Author and translator Rana Safvi’s book, The Forgotten Cities Of Delhi, was released on Friday last week, where she talks about 166 monuments in Delhi. Newslaundry caught up with her to discuss her work and views on history. Speaking to Newslaundry about changes in the narrative of history in school books and the media Safvi says, “You cannot change history, the history and facts remain the same. You can only analyse it from different perspectives.” Commenting on the controversy surrounding the battle of Haldighati between Maharana Pratap and Akbar and who won it, she says: “Maharana Pratap was a very honourable man, he fought very bravely. Would he want to be given a backdoor entry as a victor for a battle he did not win?” Attempts have been made to significantly reduce the importance given to Mughals in the texts, she said responding to a question on the presence of an “us vs them” narrative in school books. “They [the Mughals] were not them, they were also us, Akbar was born in India.” She further explains that many rulers married Rajput princesses. Furthermore, she cites the example of Mansingh, the Rajput King of Ajmer, who also the trusted general of Akbar. Speaking on the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, Safvi says, “It was first under the Khiljis that you see the lotus bud.” She also gives examples of architecture in buildings such as Jama Masjid and Jamali Kamali to highlight the multiculturalism of the time. Safvi believes that a spirit of syncretism can be inculcated in young people if they connect themselves to the monuments around them. She says, “Change will come when the young adopt monuments, not in an adopt a monument scheme but in their own personal ways.” She adds: “Temples have beautiful domes and the mosques have the Hindu kalash, if buildings have no problem in adopting elements from each other, why can’t we live like that?” To watch this and many more videos, click on http://www.newslaundry.com/