NCERT Removes References To Sensitive Topics In Class 12 Political Science Textbook

The alterations made by NCERT were made public on their website, prompting discussions among educators and the public. 

The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has recently made changes to its Class 12 political science textbook, which has sparked discussions and concerns regarding the portrayal of sensitive topics in educational materials. In an effort to provide updated and revised content, some references related to significant historical events and communal issues have been altered or omitted from the textbook.

The updated textbook, set to be implemented in the upcoming academic session, has drawn attention for its exclusion of references to the Babri Masjid, the politics of Hindutva, the 2002 Gujarat riots, and minorities. This move adds to a series of modifications in recent years regarding how such topics are addressed in educational materials.

The alterations made by NCERT were made public on their website, prompting discussions among educators and the public.

One notable change is found in Chapter 8, Recent Developments in Indian Politics. References to the “Ayodhya demolition” have been dropped, with the rationale provided by NCERT being to align the initial questions with the internal changes made in the chapter.

Furthermore, references to the Babri Masjid and the politics of Hindutva were also removed from the same chapter. The revised version now focuses on the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple Movement, leading to the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya following a Supreme Court decision in 2019.

In Chapter 5, Democratic Rights, a reference to the Gujarat riots was omitted from a news collage caption. The rationale behind this change, according to NCERT, was that the incident was resolved through the judicial process and is now two decades old.

Additionally, certain references to the Muslim community have been altered. In Chapter 5, Understanding Marginalisation, a reference to Muslims being “deprived” of the benefits of development was removed. The updated version highlights the marginalised status of the community without using the term “deprived”.

The revision also includes changes in language to provide a more neutral tone. In a chapter titled Gender, Religion and Caste, a line discussing victims of communal riots was changed to emphasize the prevention of communal riots and protection of religious minorities by the government.

In light of recent geopolitical tensions, some updates have been made to include explicit references to China. For instance, in a chapter titled Contemporary Centres of Power, the language was modified to reflect “Chinese aggression on the Indian border” rather than a more general military conflict over a border dispute.

The changes made by NCERT in its Class 12 political science textbook have sparked discussions about the portrayal of sensitive topics in educational materials. While some see these updates as necessary for accuracy and relevance, others raise concerns about the potential impact on historical understanding and critical thinking among students. As educational institutions adapt to changing times, the debate over how to address sensitive topics in textbooks continues.