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Objectionable portions deleted from NCERT textbooks

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 6, 2007

Faced with strong opposition from BJP and even some Congress members in Parliament, the HRD ministry has decided to replace textbook on History and delete the objectionable portions from Hindi textbooks. The casualty are noted writers like Paash, revolutionary Punjabi language literate from post-Independence era, noted historian Bipan Chandra and well-known Hindi poet Dhoomil. The changes would be applicable from the academic year 2007-08.

In a communication sent to National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT), HRD ministry has asked NCERT to make suitable changes to ‘rest the air of confusion and misunderstanding’ in deference to the understanding of the Members of Parliament.

The government has decided to delete writings by two authors — Apni Khabar by Pandeya Bechan Sharma ‘Ugra’ and Mochiram by Dhoomil — in Antara-I, a Hindi textbook, and replace it by some other writing by the same authors. In the book Aaroh-I, Prem Chand’s short story Doodh Ka Daam will be replaced with another story by the same author.

“NCERT is yet to inform us on which new works of these authors are being introduced,” a HRD ministry official said. The students would no more be able to read the original work of Paash, whose poetry found extensive mention among Left revolutionaries. The NCERT has been asked to ‘suitably modify’ the poem as suggested by the Yash Pal Committee report.

“We have recommended that description of Paash as Naxal was unnecessary and needed correction,” explained Ashok Vapjayee, member of the Yash Pal Committee, constituted to examine the Hindi textbooks. The ‘objectionable’ reference to Jats and Sikhs in History textbooks which created an uproar in the Parliament and led to protest by Haryana Chief Minister Bupinder Singh Hooda have also been deleted.

The NCERT has decided to replace Bipan Chandra’s history textbook Modern India (First edition) by a new book Modern India, in which objectionable language against Jats and Sikhs have been removed, the NCERT has informed the government.

Dinanath Batra, who had filed a petition in Delhi High Court against the NCERT textbooks, said the battle is only half won. “Only eight objectionable portions have been removed. Our objections on textbooks for classes VI, VII and VIII are still there,” he said, indicating that the legal battle will continue. Hindustan Times

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