At a time when many Congress leaders across the country have questioned the authenticity of Balakot air strikes, the Congress government in Rajasthan has accommodated the story of Indian Air Force fighter jets attacking terrorist camps across the LoC in its school textbooks.
The textbooks not only speak of the valour of Wing Commander Abhinandan, but also mention Union minister for Sports and I&B Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, a BJP candidate from Jaipur Rural, who won a silver medal for the country at 2004 Summer Olympics in Men's Double Trap event.
The new textbook of Class 9 has a chapter added with the title National Security and Tradition of Bravery in which stories of warriors will be taught to students.
Wing Commander Abhinandan completed his early education from Jodhpur.
The chapters also share stories of personalities who brought laurels to the country in education, sports, politics, defence, space and technical education. Rathore occupies the first place while there are stories of brave soldiers, including Havildar Major Peeru Singh, Major Shaitan Singh Bhati and Brigadier Bhavani Singh, Mahavir Chakra winner.
Speaking on the new textbooks, Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Govind Singh Dotasra said, "We never do politics with education. We have fulfilled our promise to include stories of warriors in school textbooks so that students can draw inspiration."
Meanwhile, two Congress ministers in the state expressed contradictory views on removal of a 'jauhar' picture from English textbook of class VIII. 'Jauhar' is said to be the custom of mass self-immolation by women to avoid capture, enslavement and rape by foreign invaders, when facing certain defeat during a war
While Dotasra said students in the 21st century should be taught stories of astronaut Kalpana Chawla, tennis star Sania Mirza and others, state Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachriyawas said that 'jauhar' and 'sati' should not be looked at with only "one perspective as these are two are different things".
"In Chittorgarh, 16,000 women from all castes had sacrificed themselves by committing 'johar', symbolising bravery and valour. This fact can never by ignored, said Khachriyawas.
Dotasra, however, said: "Committing 'sati' is banned in India. We have removed the 'jauhar' picture and replaced it with Chittorgarh fort. Isn't this a matter of pride?" he asked.