A controversy has erupted in Maharashtra after a notable omission in a Class 8 Marathi history book.
A Class 8 Marathi book says that “Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Qurbaan Hussain” died while fighting the British in a lesson by renowned author Yadunath Thatte titled ‘India is my country’. “If you want to love the country, you have to love both Bhumi and Bhumiputra, don’t you?” asks a character in the chapter.” That’s right,” said the boys. One of the boys says, “Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Kurban Hussain went to the gallows. They really loved the country.” I asked, “It is true, but if we want to love like them now, should the country be enslaved again?” the text in the book says as per an ABP Marathi report.
It’s however common knowledge that it was Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged together on 23rd March 1931 by the British. The three are household names, having been referenced both in most history textbooks, and in pop culture through movies like Rang De Basanti. But the Class 8 textbook adds Qurbaan Hussain in the list, and removes Sukhdev.
Who was Qurbaan Hussain?
Qurbaan Hussain was a freedom fighter too, and is known as one of the four martyrs of Maharashtra’s Solapur. Solapur had rebelled against the British in 1930 leading to three days of “independence” from 9th to 11th May 1930. Due to this incident, the British executed Malappa Dhanshetti, Jagannath Shinde, Kurban Hussain and Kisan Sarda on January 12, 1931 in Solapur.
Omission of Sukhdev
But to omit Sukhdev would be doing injustice to the freedom fighter, who had been executed along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were involved in the assassination of Deputy Superintendent of Police, J. P. Saunders, on 18 December 1928, which was undertaken in response to the violent death of the veteran leader Lala Lajpat Rai.
The books were printed by the Maharashtra education board, and the Maharashtra government has ordered a probe into the matter.