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The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) dropped references to the Gujarat Riots from class 12 textbooks as part of a ‘rationalisation’ process. Other references that have been omitted from textbooks include the Naxalite movement, pages on Mughal courts in history, and a few Dalit writers.
In the Class 7 textbook Our Pasts-2, pages 48-49 which mentioned “Mughal Emperors: Major campaigns and events” have been excluded, according to the NCERT website.
A senior official told Hindustan Times that no chapters had been selectively omitted.
The NCERT said in a notice:
"The content of the textbooks has been rationalised for various reasons, including overlapping with similar content in other subject areas in the same class, similar content included in the lower or higher classes on the same subject."
'Irrelevant in Present Context'
A team of subject experts had been working on the rationalisation process since last December and the process has now been completed. The curriculum has been rationalised with the aim of ‘reducing the content load’ in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCERT said in a booklet.
The booklet contained information in tabular form about subject-wise contents which have been dropped and hence are not to be assessed any further.
NCERT said that the textbooks were rationalised in view of overlapping content, repetition of similar content that has been taught in lower classes and difficulty level. It added that it has removed content that is 'easily accessible to students without much interventions from teachers and can be learned through children through selflearning or peer-learning,' and content that is 'irrelevant in the present context.'
What Else Has Been Removed From the Syllabus?
References to the Gujarat riots, Cold War, and the Mughal courts have been struck from the class 12 textbooks.
The Industrial Revolution has been left out from the Class 11 textbooks and references to a few Dalit writers, including Omprakash Valmiki, have been dropped from Class 7 textbooks.
In the Class 10 textbook Democratic Politics II, the excluded chapters included verses of poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz in the 'Religion, Communalism and Politics – Communalism, Secular State' section.
Pages 187-189 on the topic ‘Gujarat Riots’ will be excluded from Chapter 9, which is titled ‘Recent Developments in Indian Politics.’
One of the paragraphs that has been removed reads, “Gujarat riots show that the government machinery also becomes susceptible to sectarian passions. Instances, like in Gujarat, alert us to dangers involved in using religious sentiments for political purposes. This poses a threat to democratic politics.”
Page 105 of the same book on the history of the ‘Naxalite Movement’ has been dropped from the syllabus too. Pages 113-117 on ‘Controversies during the Emergency’ has been dropped too.
The mention of the National Human Rights Commission report on the 2002 Gujarat violence and the "raj dharma" remark by late former PM Atal Bihar Vajpayee has been dropped from the textbook.
Numerous passages on caste and caste discrimination have been dropped as well. A critical passage on manual scavenging from social activist Harsh Mander's book has been dropped too.
The class 12 Sociology book no longer has a section on how those from Upper Castes respond to increased visibility of Dalits. A chunk on how Dalit women face greater threats than their Upper Caste counterparts has been removed too.
A chapter on the Emergency has been cut short by five pages from the Class 12 textbook. The chapter dealt with the excesses of the Indira Gandhi government.
The removed paragraphs also contain references to protests that have turned into social movement. Further, references to sedition too have been dropped.