M A I N   N E W S

BJP ministers for present history books, walk out of Arjun’s meeting
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
The ongoing confrontation between the opposition and the UPA government today spilled on to the first meeting of the reconstituted Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE) with education ministers of the BJP-ruled states staging a protest walkout.

Belligerent opposition ministers launched a blistering attack against Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, accusing him of “foisting a political agenda” on the meeting. They were particularly agitated over the reference in the CMP to the NDA government’s moves at “communalisation of school syllabus.”

After boycotting the day’s proceedings, the BJP education ministers announced that they would not implement the Centre’s “arbitrary and anti-people decision” to withdraw history and social sciences textbooks published by the NCERT. This decision was taken at a meeting of Education Ministers of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

“We resolve to continue with the existing books which have been upheld by the Supreme Court,” Rajasthan Education Minister Ghanshyam Tiwari told reporters.

That there is a clear vertical divide on this issue was evident when participants, including activist Teesta Setalvad, Vinod Raina of Ekalavya, academician Zoya Hasan and poet Javed Akhtar, launched a counter-offensive against the BJP ministers.

At a specially-convened press conference they described the walkout as “disgraceful and deplorable” and said they were not willing to engage in a democratic process.

They said instead of walking out, they could have participated in the discussions and given their views. “This is a forum where we could agree to disagree they could have come and stated their position,” they added.


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