In NCERT manuals, references to Gujarat ‘riots’ and ‘caste discrimination’ removed
While Time will tell what effect the changes NCERT has introduced in its manuals, the intent can hardly be missed.
In the political science textbook prescribed for students in class 12, references to the “Gujarat riots” have been removed while references to “the emergency” have been strengthened by mentioning human rights violations, the arrests of political leaders, media censorship, forced vasectomies, deaths in police custody and violence. Indeed, the earlier reference has been completely misrepresented.
From the chapter on “recent developments in Indian politics”, the reference to the “Gujarat riots” was deleted, including the sentences: “Examples like in Gujarat alert us to the dangers of using religious sentiments to political purposes. This poses a threat to democratic politics.
Unsurprisingly, Islam and Islamic history and heritage have been targeted. Text that challenged preconceived misconceptions about Muslims was removed. The paragraphs on the spirit of Islam have been deleted. One of the deleted paragraphs read “like Christianity, Islam is a religion that emphasizes equality before Allah”.
The Class 7 textbook’s introductory paragraphs on Mughal emperors Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shahjahan, and Aurangzeb were also removed. In the class 6 text “Social and Political Life, Part 1”, the following paragraph was deleted, which stated: “There is a general misconception that Muslims are not interested in educating their daughters, therefore they do not do not send their daughters to school.Recent research however has shown that the compelling reason is poverty and not orthodoxy.Due to poverty they do not send their daughters to school or after a few years are forced to remove them.
The “streamlined content of textbooks” led to the removal of paragraphs that challenged bias against Muslims, that concerned Mughal emperors, those relating to the caste system and those that denounced religious bias.