NCERT drops content on Gujarat riots from Class 12 textbook

The NCERT has dropped content on Gujarat riots from the Class 12 Political Science curriculum as part of a “textbook rationalisation” exercise in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a note on the rationalised content released by the NCERT on Thursday, pages 187-189 on Gujarat riots are among the removals from the book. The pages also carry an image of the front page of The Indian Express dated March 1, 2002.

“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,” states one the of the paragraphs which has been removed.

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It also contains a blurb carrying then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statement that his “one message to the Chief Minister (of Gujarat) is that he should follow ‘raj dharma’. “A ruler should not make any discrimination between his subjects on the basis of caste, creed and religion,” it quotes Vajpayee as having said.

Page 105 of the book on the history of the “Naxalite movement”, and pages 113-117 on “Controversies during Emergency” have also been dropped.

The NCERT, in its note, said the removals as part of the rationalisation include “overlapping with similar content included in other subject areas in the same class” and “content, which is irrelevant in the present context”.

“In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is imperative to reduce content load on students. The National Education Policy-2020 also emphasises the same…In this background, the NCERT has undertaken the exercise to rationalise the textbooks for all classes,” it added.

According to the NCERT, content which was already removed under the CBSE’s 2022-23 academic curriculum released earlier this year will also remain out of the curriculum.

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