Word Anti-Muslim Omitted From 2002 Gujarat Riots In NCERT Book


Mumbai—In a sudden development, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has removed the word “anti-Muslim” from political science textbook for class 12, and now the 2002 Gujarat riots will just be called “Gujarat riots”.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the revised version of the book will hit shelves this week.

The report said the changes have been incorporated in the last chapter of the textbook titled ‘Recent Developments in Indian Politics’ to tweak the nomenclature of the riots. So, the heading of the passage on the riots (on page 187) has been changed from ‘Anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat’ to just ‘Gujarat riots’. However, in the same paragraph, the 1984 riots are described as anti-Sikh.

It is not just the headline, in fact there is also a change in the paragraph that has removed the word “Muslims”.

In the previous version of the textbook, the first sentence of the above passage read- “In February-March 2002, large-scale violence against Muslims took place in Gujarat”. Now, the new version of the book omits the word “against Muslims”.

 “In February-March 2002, large-scale violence took place in Gujarat,” the book now reads.

The rest of the paragraph, however, remains the same as in the old version of the textbook.

After the change, the paragraph mentions this- “A bogey of a train that was returning from Ayodhya and was full of Karsevaks was set on fire. Fifty-seven people died in that fire. Suspecting the hand of the Muslims in setting fire to the bogey, large-scale violence against Muslims began in many parts of Gujarat from the next day. This violence continued for almost a whole month. Nearly 1,100 persons, mostly Muslims, were killed in this violence.”

The NCERT has made changes in the textbook for the first time since 2007.

The changes were first suggested by the then CBSE Chairman RK Chaturvedi in June 2017. However, there was no response from the current Director Hrishikesh Senapaty over this matter.

As per the government’s reply in the parliament, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots. Meanwhile, 223 people were reported missing and 2,500 were injured.

This is the first comprehensive review of NCERT textbooks after the National Curriculum Framework was drafted in 2005. While a curriculum revision is long overdue, it will only happen once the new education policy is unveiled by the Union government.


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