CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said he would relook at the committee set up by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government to revise and rewrite history books, and, if needed, constitute a fresh committee to amend the syllabus in the light of the controversy surrounding the Class XI and XII history syllabus.
In conversation with Kartikeya Sharma and Deepak Chaurasia, MD and Editor-in-Chief respectively, of the India News Group, at a conclave, Punjab Manch, organized here, the Chief Minister pointed out that errors, if any, in the history syllabus, which was at the centre of debate for the past few days, could be ascribed to the Committee that the Badal government had constituted to review the syllabus to align it with NCERT syllabus.
The Chief Minister assured of firm action to take corrective steps, in case any errors are found to be there in the syllabus, including constitution of a fresh committee to re-examine the history books if needed.
Responding to a question on the alleged deletion of crucial chapters on Sikh Gurus from the school history books, Captain Amarinder said it was ironic that SAD was now questioning the new syllabus after being the one to have actually formed the committee which had reworked the school syllabus.
Taking a dig at former deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Chief Minister wondered if the SAD president actually bothers to read Sikh history. The Class XI history book which was being targeted by the Opposition had not been issued yet, Captain Amarinder said, wondering how anyone could guess its content.
Talking to mediapersons later, the Akalis were in the habit of making religion their business when out of power, and business their religion when in power. The people of Punjab ended up paying the price, every time, for this politicization of religion at the hands of the Akalis, he added.
Lashing out at anti-India elements, particularly Pakistan’s ISI, that were seeking to foment trouble in the state by radicalizing its youth, the Chief Minister warned that his government would not allow any vitiation of Punjab’s hard-earned peace. The state had already suffered a lot, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the police was, however, always one step ahead to neutralize any attempt to disturb the state’s peace and harmony. To a question regarding targeted killings of political leaders, he pointed out that all the seven major cases of such motivated killings in the state had been cracked by the Punjab police.
On the farm loan waiver, the Chief Minister reiterated that the process to waive off farm debt of the 10.25 lakh farmers covered by the scheme would be completed by November. Thereafter, once the financial situation in the state improves, more such programmes would be launched for farmers’ welfare, he added.
Expressing concern about the plight of the farmers, who were credited with pulling the nation out of its food deficit into a surplus state, the Chief Minister said it was sad that the same farmers were now being forced to commit suicide due to farming stress. Crop diversification was the only way to bring these farmers out of the distress, he said, reaffirming his government’s commitment to make farming viable and profitable again.
The Chief Minister came down heavily on the Badal government for scuttling the various initiatives taken by the Congress government in its previous tenure. He cited the example of his government’s collaboration with Reliance in 2007, under which trials had been started to give thrust to many diversification programmes, which were, unfortunately, abandoned by the SAD-BJP on coming to power.
Captain Amarinder expressed satisfaction at the crackdown against drugs, saying more than 52,000 people active in drugs trade had so far been nabbed by the state police. The big fish had managed to flee the country but remained on the radar of the police and would also be caught soon, he added.
To a query regarding the Guardians of Governance (GoG) programme, the Chief Minister said the initiative had already produced great results in assisting and streamlining delivery of government programmes. Another 2000 GoGs would be added this year, taking their strength to 5000, he added.
Referring to the various steps being taken to improve the employment situation in the state, he said more than 150 MOUs had been signed and close to Rs 6000 Crores had been invested on the ground to generate new employment opportunities for the youth. As more investment flows in, the numbers would go up immensely, he said, adding that his government remained committed to fulfilling its promise of `Ghar Ghar Rozgar’ through employment generation and self-entrepreneurship(Source: India News Group).