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Historians plan 'parallel textbooks'

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE DEC. 29. The Indian History Congress (IHC) is opposed to "interference" in the writing of history textbooks and has prepared a list of "mistakes and distortions".

"We, as professional historians, are planning to bring out parallel textbooks of history to the ones brought out by the National Council of Educational Research and Training," said Shireen Moosvi of the Aligarh Muslim University.

Ms. Moosvi, former secretary of the IHC, said over 1,200 delegates were attending the 64th session of the IHC here, a record since the first meet in Allahabad in 1935. This was an expression of unity by historians against "interference" in history writing by those who were not historians. It was also a matter of concern that textbooks were being written by "persons who had never taught history".

According to the organisers, a record number of over 670 papers would be presented at the three-day meet. The ratio between the number of participants and paper presentations was also high. In all, more than 2,500 professional historians have registered.The IHC secretary, Ramakrishna Chatterjee of the Netaji Institute for Asian Studies, Kolkata, said history was under attack from persons who lacked a professional touch, and added that history should be left to historians.The executive committee is expected to take up important issues such as autonomy of institutions, the abrupt removal of the Chairman of the Indian Council for Historical Research, interference in textbook writing, preserving heritage monuments and archaeological sites.

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