Nearly 250 academics and historians issued a public statement criticising the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for making changes in its textbooks and alleged that the move has been “guided by a divisive and partisan agenda” while demanding “the deletions be immediately withdrawn.”

The public statement issued on Friday is signed by renowned members of the academic community and historians, including Romila Thapar, Jayati Gosh, Mridula Mukherjee, Apoorvanada, Irfan Habib, and Upinder Singh, among others. The signatories said that the latest deletions from the NCERT textbooks “expose the non-academic, partisan agenda of the regime in pushing through amendments to school textbooks.”

The NCERT, in its new textbook editions for the current academic year for class 12 political science and history, has removed content about Mahatma Gandhi, his assassin, and the banning of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) following Gandhi’s assassination.

“We are appalled by the decision of the NCERT to remove chapters and statements from the history textbooks and demand that the deletions be withdrawn. The decision of the NCERT is guided by divisive motives. It is a decision which goes against the constitutional ethos and composite culture of the Indian subcontinent. As such, it must be rescinded at the earliest,” the public statement said.

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