Written by Ritika Chopra

* He (Gandhi) was particularly disliked by those who wanted Hindus to take revenge or who wanted India to become a country for the Hindus, just as Pakistan was for Muslims…

* His steadfast pursuit of Hindu-Muslim unity provoked Hindu extremists so much that they made several attempts to assassinate Gandhiji…

* Gandhiji’s death had an almost magical effect on the communal situation in the country… The Government of India cracked down on organisations that were spreading communal hatred. Organisations like the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh were banned for some time…

These sentences that have been taught to Class 12 students for more than 15 years as part of their Political Science curriculum now stand deleted from NCERT textbooks.

So does the reference to Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as “a Brahmin from Pune” and “the editor of an extremist Hindu newspaper who had denounced Gandhiji as ‘an appeaser of Muslims’” from a Class 12 History textbook.

References to Gujarat riots purged from social science books for Classes 6-12
Among key deletions on Gandhi’s assassination in NCERT class 12 texts are these lines.

Significantly, the above deletions did not figure in the “list of rationalised content” officially released by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in June last year. However, the above sentences and references are missing from the new textbooks (with rationalised content) that hit the market recently, a scrutiny of the reprinted books by The Indian Express has revealed.

Last year, NCERT had rationalised textbooks for all subjects to reduce curriculum load further to help students make a “speedy recovery” in learning, which has been hit by Covid-19 disruptions. The changes were announced via a booklet that was uploaded on the Council’s official website and also formally shared with all schools. The textbooks (with rationalised content) were not reprinted last year due to shortage of time. The new books, however, have now hit the market and are available for the new academic year 2023-24.

References to Gujarat riots purged from social science books for Classes 6-12
Deleted lines from the Class 12 Political Science book

When asked why changes pertaining to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination did not make it to NCERT’s official document released in June 2022, but directly introduced in the reprinted textbooks, NCERT director DS Saklani insisted “there is nothing new” this time. “Rationalisation happened last year. We have not done anything new this time,” he told The Indian Express. His colleague and head of NCERT’s Central Institute of Educational Technology, AP Behera said, “It is possible some bits may have been left out of the table due to oversight but no new changes have been made this year. This all happened last year.”…

This story was originally published in indianexpress.com. Read the full story here