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NCERT defends deleting texts on Mughals, Gandhi, Godse & RSS

NCERT has categorically rejected allegations that the changes have been made to suit a particular ideology
Last Updated : 05 April 2023, 17:56 IST

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As it faced mounting criticism over the omission of chapters about Mughal rulers from history books, and portions about Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, the RSS and the Gujarat riots, NCERT director Dinesh Prasad Saklani said some of chapters of the textbooks were taken off the curriculum to reduce the study load from students affected by learning loss during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“After the pandemic, it was realised globally that the load of education has to be cut down, because it was agonising and painful for children, parents and teachers. Due to the learning loss and the loss of time, we needed to find ways to make up for these losses, and at National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), we standardised the process,” Saklani told DH.

He added that a team of “experts” comprising experienced teachers from Kendriya Vidyalayas and CBSE schools, as well as NCERT officials, was constituted to scrutinise the curriculum and recommended the deletion of some parts.

Transparent process

“These were removed since some were unnecessary and some were duplicated. This is a transparent process, and there is no political vendetta. The NCERT does not buckle under political pressure or falls for temptations of any kind,” Saklani said.

A chapter on ‘Kings and Chronicles’ and the ‘The Mughal Courts’ has been axed from History textbooks for Class 12. From Political Science curriculum, chapters about Godse being the editor of a Hindu fundamentalist newspaper and his accusation of Muslim appeasement against Gandhi was deleted. A reference to the ghettoisation following the 2002 Gujarat riots has been deleted, too. These “rationalisations” were made last year, but the concerned textbooks are not yet available publicly.

Defending the move, Saklani said that chapters from other subjects, such as economics, sociology, commerce, mathematics, biology, and languages such as Hindi and English, have also been made. However, there was no clarity on what these sections were.

Opposition parties criticised the move, with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge saying it was an attempt by the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to “change history”. “You can (make) changes in textbooks, but you cannot change the history of the country… they can try as much as they want, but they cannot erase history.”

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Published 05 April 2023, 09:30 IST

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