NCERT justifies modification in references to Babri Masjid, Guj riot

Why was not the same level of hue and cry was raised when 1984 riots was omitted from textbooks, asks NCERT directed Dinesh Prasad Saklani on removal of Babri Masjid & Gujarat Riots

NCERT Babri Masjid

New Delhi: The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has defended its decision to drop references to Gujarat riots and Babri Masjid demolition from the textbook of political science.

It said that the modification was being done to avoid creating ‘violent and depressed citizens’. The books recently made waves over a slew of changes — from avoiding direct mention of Babri Masjid to pruning the Ayodhya section. The NCERT is revising syllabus of the school textbooks in line with the National Education Policy (NEP).

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“Why should we teach about riots in school textbooks? We want to create positive citizens not violent and depressed individuals. Should we teach our students in a manner that they become offensive, create hatred in society or become victim of hatred? Is that education’s purpose? Should we teach about riots to such young children … when they grow up, they can learn about it but why school textbooks. Let them understand what happened and why it happened when they grow up. The hue and cry about the changes is irrelevant,” said NCERT director Dinesh Prasad Saklani.

Chief priest of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple Satyendra Das Mahara, however, expressed his annoyance over the NCERT’s decision and said it would be an ‘incomplete’ portrayal of the Ayodhya movement in text books.

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It may be noted that revised textbook of political science of Class 12th not mention the Babri masjid and instead refers it as a “three-domed structure”. It has also reduced the Ayodhya section from four to two pages and deleted details from the earlier version. The textbook instead focuses on the Supreme Court judgement that paved the way for the construction of the Ram temple.

Saklani wondered as why was not the same level of hue and cry was raised when the 1984 riots was omitted from textbooks. Besides, reference of BJP’s ‘rath yatra’ from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya; the role of kar sevaks; communal violence in the wake of the demolition of the Babri masjid; President’s rule in BJP-ruled states; and the BJP’s expression of “regret over the happenings at Ayodhya” have also be removed from the book.

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“If Supreme Court has given a verdict in favour of Ram temple, Babri masjid or Ram janmabhoomi, should it not be included in our textbooks, what is the problem in that? We have included the new updates. If we have constructed new Parliament, should our students not know about it. It is our duty to include the ancient developments and recent developments,” he contended.

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