A Unesco World Heritage Site, Qutub Minar is a 73-metre high tower. It is believed to be constructed by two Muslim rulers named Qutbuddin Aybak and Iltutmish. This is what we learned from our books.
However, in 2012, Neeraj Atri, author of Brainwashed Republic, wrote to the National Council Of Educational Research And Training (NCERT) and asked for the source of this information.
Atri in his Right to Information (RTI) application asked NCERT about a particular figure in the Class VII history textbook entitled Our Pasts-II. In Chapter 3 of the book titled “The Delhi Sultans,” on page 36, there is a figure of Qutab Minar and a description of the structure written on the left side. It reads, “Quwwat al-Islam mosque and minaret, built during the last decade of the twelfth century. This was the congregational mosque of the first city built by the Delhi Sultans, described in the chronicles as Dehli-i- Kuhna (the old city). The mosque was enlarged by Iltutmish and Alauddin Khalji. The minar was built by two Sultans: Qutbuddin Aybak and Iltutmish.”
Atri asked about the origins of the information that the minar was made by these two Sultans, along with the information about the writers and contributors who suggested adding the information to the text.
The application was submitted on November 28, 2012. On January 1, 2013, the Department of Education in Social Sciences (DESS) under NCERT replied to his query.
In her reply, Prof Saroj Bala Yadav, head, DESS & Public Information Officer, said her office received a copy of RTI on December 11, 2012. To his queries, the department said that there are no records of any references/texts that were used to conclude that those two Sultans built the Minar.
In addition, DESS said they have no proof to support the above-mentioned claim. The book cites the names of those who suggested the material and was accepted by the National Oversight Committee, headed by Prof Mrinal Miri.