The Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP ( Punjab Unit) today strongly urged the Punjab Governor Shri V P Singh Badnore “to intervene urgently, immediately and effectively” to stop the Punjab Government from going ahead with its deep rooted and disastrous conspiracy to systematically ‘murder” Sikh history, heritage and culture from the minds of the present and the coming generations of our children.”A high level joint delegation of the two parties called on the state governor at the Punjab Raj Bhawan this morning.The delegation was led by Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal and Mr Shwait Malik, presidents respectively of the SAD and the BJP (Punjab Unit).Later talking to newspersons outside the Punjab Raj Bhawan, the former Punjab Deputy CM said that the Punjab governor “gave a very patient, keen and sympathetic audience to the delegation on every aspect of this issue of extreme sensitivity.“ He assured the delegation of "sympathetic consideration of every aspect of the matter and of an appropriate response."The former Dy CM said that he and Mr Malik came away from the meeting with “constructive and positive vibes.”A memorandum presented to the Governor warned the Punjab government against its “brazen obstinacy in sticking to the course of confrontation against the history and heritage of the Great Guru Sahiban and against the great people of Punjab.”
Describing the refusal of the Government to resume the teaching of the Punjab and the Sikh history in the “solemn and significant Board class of 12 for the Punjab State School Education students,” the memorandum said that “the conspiracy is aimed at erasing all traces of Sikh faith, Sikh ideology and Sikh way of living from the minds of the people in the land of the Gurus. This is a part of a deep rooted conspiracy to deliver a death-blow to “ the rare, unmatched and proud history and heritage of the Sikh faith founded by the Great Guru Sahiban. Countless heroes and martyrs have walked the path of supreme sacrifices to follow the spiritual call of the Great Guru Sahiban as etched deep in Sikh minds through the immortal and divine Word of the Guru in Sri Guru Granth Sahib,” said Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal in a statement here this afternoon, adding that apart from trying to destroy the historical roots and spiritual fountainheads of the followers the great Sikh religion, the new syllabus for class 12 virtually shows the door to every section of Punjabi society as well as to the Great spiritual figures like Guru Ravidass ji, Namdev ji, Kabir Sahib, and many others. “That is a separate issue concerning the contents of the bare and meager size of what they want our children to learn about the great souls who have inspired not just the people of Punjab but all over the country , said the SAD president.
The delegation told the governor that the Government’s systematic act of “murdering” Punjabi, especially Sikh history is a direct onslaught on the principles, the faith and the heritage revered by the followers of the Sikh religion and is also an attempt to “kill” the history created by great heroes and martyrs inspired and motivated by their undying and infinite love and reverence for their great Guru Sahibaan.”“The government’s brazen and obstinate refusal to respect the sentiments of the Sikh masses in this regard has caused deep and widespread wave of pain, anxiety and anger not only in the minds of the Sikhs all over the world. They have either failed or deliberately refused to realise that the priceless heritage of Guru Sahiban also adorns our national history and is glorious part of the humanity’s spiritual heritage,” said Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal after an hour long interaction between the Governor and the SAD-BJP delegation.The memorandum drew the Governor’s “ attention to the attempts by the Punjab Government to dodge the real momentous question of eliminating for ever the history and heritage of the people of the state.They are trying merely to distract the attention of the masses, especially the followers of the great and glorious Sikh religion founded and nurtured by the Great Guru Sahibaan, from the core issue that their children will no longer get history of their religion and their state to study in the serious and significant Board class of 12.For reasons best known to the PSEdB and the Government of Punjab, they have decided that the historyof Punjab and the Sikhs is not a serious enough subject to be studied by the senior students of class 12 .
Thus they have relegated Punjab and Sikh history to class 11 or even lower than that.”Briefing the Governor on the issue at Raj Bhawan, Mr Badal and Mr Shwait asserted that the Punjabis and the Sikhs will never allow anyone to destroy the unparalleled history of Punjab and the history and heritage of the proud, brave and patriotic Sikh quom.“The Punjab Govt and the State Education Board have literally thrown out – lock, stock and barrel - the entire syllabus covering the detailed study of the history of the Great Guru Sahibaan and of all the eminent Sikh heroes from the history book meant for the class 12,” said the Memorandum presented to the Governor by the joint delegation.The Memorandum further described as “ disastrous in the extreme and fraught with grave danger” the Punjab government’s “brazen obstinacy in sticking to the course of confrontation against the history and heritage of the Great Guru Sahiban and the great people of Punjab.They do not seem to realize that the history of our great country India climaxes in the proud and prestigious history and heritage of Punjab, which itself climaxes in the history of the Great Guru Sahiban and other outstanding, brave and patriotic personages, movements and events which form the glorious milestones in India’s march towards a position of global leadership.”The memorandum said that the two parties believed in the resolution of the problem through a constructive approach.“The Chief Minister was also requested that pending such a solemn and high level inquiry, the old syllabus and books containing detailed chapters on Punjab and Sikh history be restored for studies for the on-going session for students of both Class 11and Class 12 so that students did not suffer because of the sins of the guilty officials.
The Memorandum emphasized that “in the old syllabus and books of history for the classes 11 and 12 , the Punjab and Sikh history was presented with profound sensitivity, solemnity and in great depth and detail.In addition, the world history and Indian history were also being taught in considerable depth.”“But now,” said the Memorandum further, “without any valid reason, logic and without any legitimate academic consideration, the Board has completely eliminated the teaching of Sikh history for the students of the prestigious Board examinations for class 12. “The Memo described as “absurd and ludicrous” the Government’s explanation in lame defense of “this conspiratorial and criminal outrage against Punjab and Sikh history.”“They are now claiming that no chapters on Punjab and Sikh history have been deleted or expunged from the syllabus or from the books meant for class 12, and that these chapters have been shifted to class 11. This is totally false and utterly baseless. None of the 23 chapters which formed a part of the syllabus for class 12 has been shifted to the syllabus of class 11. The chapters on Punjab and Sikh history in class 11 which they are mischievously claiming as new additions for the said class were already a part of the curriculum for class 11 and were being taught already.
The Memorandum came down heavily at the Government attempts to confuse the people on the relative importance of class 12 and class 11.”The Board and the government are deliberately equating the academic status and significance of Class 12, which is Board exam, with that of Class 11 the exam for which is handled locally by the schools. Even every school child can understand that the Government is trying to play a fraud with students and their parents in this regard,” said the Memorandum.“The most important milestone in a student’s pre-graduation academic life is the Board examination of Class 12. By throwing Sikh history out of the syllabus for this momentous class, the Board has deliberately tried to downscale, downgrade and belittle the study of the history and heritage of Guru Sahiban and other chapters on Sikh history for the impressionable minds of the school children,” the SAD-BJP told the Governor.The two parties regretted that “the Government has completely shut its mind on this issue and was bent upon inflicting massive and permanent damage on the future generations of Punjab.“ The two parties referred to the extreme academic, historical and religious sensitivity of the issue. The pride and prestige of all Punjabis and the religious sentiments of the Sikh masses living all across the globe have been greatly hurt by this devious conspiracy to destroy the history of the Sikh quom in their home state.”