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SFI submits memo against ‘saffronisation’ of NCERT textbooks

SFI submits memo against ‘saffronisation’ of NCERT textbooks

SFI activists submit a memorandum to the Director of Higher Education in Shimla on Wednesday. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 19

The Himachal Pradesh University unit of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) here today submitted a memorandum to the Director of Higher Education as well as the Director of Elementary Education in protest against the alleged ‘saffronisation’ of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks and the “tampering of history” by the Central Government.

Through the memorandum, the SFI demanded that the NCERT restore the original textbooks and not compromise the integrity of the educational curriculum.

SFI HPU president Santosh Kumar, in a statement, said, “We strongly condemn the recent changes made to the Class XII political science textbook by the BJP-led government. The term ‘Babri Masjid’ has been replaced with ‘a structure with three domes,’ which contradicts historic facts. Additionally, other details contradicting the Sangh Parivar’s narrative have been deliberately omitted.”

“The original textbook provided a clear account of the Babri Masjid’s history, stating that it was constructed in the 16th century by Mir Baqi, a general of Mughal emperor Babur. However, the new textbook presents a distorted version, merely stating that a structure with three domes was built at Lord Ram’s birthplace in 1528,” Kumar added.

He said this was an attempt to “rewrite history and promote a partisan narrative”.

“Sections describing the Rath Yatra led by Sangh Parivar forces and the subsequent communal riots, along with a detailed account of the Babri Masjid demolition, have been removed. A four-page section has been summarised in just two pages, which clearly indicates the NCERT’s efforts to remove the event’s history,” he added. “These textbooks are used in schools following the CBSE curriculum, meaning students are being taught a tampered version of history. The demolition of the Babri Masjid in December of 1992 was a tragic event, culminating from the hate propaganda and communal riots. The BJP used this issue to create polarisation, and to gain power. Last year, the NCERT removed sections from Class XI and XII textbooks discussing Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts to promote Hindu-Muslim unity and the ban on RSS after Gandhi’s assassination. Sections on reforms during the Mughal rule and the contributions of freedom fighter and scholar Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were also removed. Chapters on democracy, secularism, mass movements and pluralism were deleted from the Class X textbook,” he said. “We urge the students of India to oppose the efforts that are being made to ‘saffronise’ the curriculum and also not to fall into the trap laid by the Sangh Parivar.”

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