INDIA, January 13, 2021 (Swarajya): In September 2020, an RTI query was sent to the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research), asking it to shed light on the sources which it employs to make the claim that Mughal emperors like Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb gave grants to repair Hindu temples destroyed during wars. "All Mughal emperors gave grants to support the building and maintenance of places of worship. Even when temples were destroyed during war, grants were later issued for their repair - as we know from the reigns of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb," is written in the Part II of NCERT's Theme of Indian History textbook's page 234.
Such claims of benevolence by the Mughal rulers came as a surprise to many considering Aurangzeb is well known for having ordered the destruction of the holy shrines in Kashi and Mathura. The RTI also asked NCERT to enlighten people over how many temples were actually repaired by Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. The NCERT subsequently sent back a reply to the RTI last November. As seen in the reply furnished by Head of Department of Education in Social Sciences Prof. Gouri Srivastava, NCERT has no information about either the sources used for the claim, or for how many temples have been rebuilt by Mughal rulers like Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan. "The information is not available on the files of the department," writes NCERT in its replies.