Text book revision: NCERT drops some references to Babri demolition, Gujarat riots, Manipur

The change is being made to bring the initial questions in synchronisation with internal latest changes made in the chapter, says the NCERT.

April 05, 2024 11:48 am | Updated April 06, 2024 02:54 am IST - New Delhi

Representational image.

Representational image. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Dropping references of demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the mention of Muslims killed in Gujarat riots, references to Manipur and clarifying India’s stand on Jammu and Kashmir are the latest round of revisions made public by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in its textbooks for Class 11 and 12. 

The changes documented by the NCERT in a tabular format do not yet reflect in the online textbooks, but sources say textbooks will be updated soon. “Content is updated as per latest development in politics. Text on Ayodhya issue has been thoroughly revised because of the latest changes brought by Supreme Court’s Constitutional Bench verdict and its widespread welcoming reception,” the NCERT has said in its rationale for revising content in textbooks. 

Further, in Chapter 5 of Class 11 political science textbook Democratic Politics-I, the mention of Gujarat Riots has been dropped. In page 86, while the existing version reads, “Do you notice references to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the news collage on this Page ? These references reflect the growing awareness of human rights and struggles for human dignity. Many cases of human rights violations in diverse fields, for instance, Gujarat riots, are being brought to the public notice from across India.”

The NCERT has said that this will be changed to, “Many cases of human rights violations in diverse fields are being brought to the public notice from across India.”

Court-resolved incident

The clarification NCERT has provided for the change reads, “The news collage and content refer to an incident that is 20-years-old and has been resolved through the judicial process.”

In another stark change, consider page 112 of Class 11 political science textbook titled ‘Political Theory,’ where in Chapter 8 - Secularism, the NCERT has dropped the reference of Muslims killed in post-Godhra riots. 

While the existing version reads, “More than 1,000 persons, mostly Muslims, were massacred during the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002,” the changed version will reflect, “More than 1,000 persons were killed during the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002.”

The NCERT has cited a clarification for the change saying, “In any riots people across communities suffer. It cannot just be one community.”

In chapter 8, ‘Recent Developments in Indian Politics,’ of Class 12 political science text book, the existing version on Page 136 reads ‘What is the legacy of the Ram Janambhoomi movement and the Ayodhya demolition for the nature of political mobilisation?’ This sentence in the revised textbooks will read ‘What is the legacy of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement?’

The NCERT has said that the change is being made “to bring the initial questions in synchronisation with internal latest changes made in the chapter.”

On Babri Masjid demolition

On dropping the reference to Babri Masjid demolition, in the same chapter, on page 139, the existing version reads, “Fourth, a number of events culminated in the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya (known as Babri Masjid) in December 1992. This event symbolised and triggered various changes in the politics of the country and intensified debates about the nature of Indian nationalism and secularism. These developments are associated with the rise of the BJP and the politics of ‘Hindutva’.”

However the changed version, NCERT has stated will read, “Fourth, the centuries old legal and political dispute over the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya started influencing the politics of India, which gave birth to various political changes. The Ram Janmabhoomi Temple Movement, becoming the central issue, transformed the direction of the discourse on secularism and democracy. These changes culminated in the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya following the decision of the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court (which was announced on November 9, 2019).”

On page 18, in the first chapter of the Class 12 book, on reference of Manipur, the existing version reads, “The Government of India succeeded in pressurising the Maharaja into signing a Merger Agreement in September 1949, without consulting the popularly elected Legislative Assembly of Manipur. This caused a lot of anger and resentment in Manipur, the repercussions of which are still being felt.”

In the changed version reference of Manipur has been dropped and the revised statement is, “The Government of India succeeded in persuading the Maharaja into signing a Merger Agreement in September 1949.”

Also in Chapter 7 titled ‘Regional Aspiration,’ on page 119, referring to the border dispute between India and Pakistan, while the existing version reads, “India claims that this area is under illegal occupation. Pakistan describes this area as ‘Azad Pakistan’,” the changed version will read, “However, it is the Indian territory which is under illegal occupation of Pakistan called as Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK).”

The NCERT has clarified that the change which has been introduced is in complete concurrence with the latest position of the government of India in regard to Jammu and Kashmir.

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