NCERT says teaching about Gujarat riots, Babri masjid demolition ‘can create violent, depressed citizens’

NCERT director dismisses saffronisation accusations, defends changes in textbooks referencing Gujarat riots and Babri masjid demolition to avoid creating violent citizens.

Livemint
Updated16 Jun 2024, 07:02 PM IST
NCERT publishes new textbooks before the beginning of each academic session though there is no fixed mandate to review content
NCERT publishes new textbooks before the beginning of each academic session though there is no fixed mandate to review content(AP)

NCERT has defended its decision to modify references to Gujarat riots and Babri masjid demolition in school textbooks 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 National Council of Educational Research and Training is currently revising the curriculum of the school textbooks in line with the National Education Policy.

“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,” opined NCERT director Dinesh Prasad Saklani.

Also Read: NTA issues clarification over ’grace marks’, cut-offs and ’inflation’ of marks

Meanwhile Satyendra Das Mahara — the Chief Priest of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple — has voiced dissatisfaction over the ‘incomplete’ portrayal of the Ayodhya movement in text books.

The revised Class 12 political science textbook does not mention the Babri masjid but refers to it as a "three-domed structure". It has also pruned 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.

Also Read: NCERT invites applications for teacher education programs at cee.ncert.gov.in

Saklani hinted that the same hue and cry was not being made about the omission of the 1984 riots in textbooks.

The latest deletions in the textbooks include: 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".

Also Read: CBSE notifies schools over NCERT online courses for Classes 11, 12 on SWAYAM portal

 "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 said.

Also Read: Why NCERT panel chief wants Ramayana, Mahabharata in school textbooks

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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First Published:16 Jun 2024, 07:02 PM IST
HomeEducationNCERT says teaching about Gujarat riots, Babri masjid demolition ‘can create violent, depressed citizens’

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