The NCERT has removed the term “anti-Muslim” from the class 12 political science textbook, and now the 2002 Gujarat riots are now called just the “Gujarat riots” in the revised version of the book.
In a sudden development, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has removed the term “anti-Muslim” from the class 12 political science textbook, and now the 2002 Gujarat riots are now called just the “Gujarat riots” in the revised version of the book which will hit the shelves this week. According to a report by The Indian Express, changes have been incorporated in the last chapter of the book – ‘Recent Developments in Indian Politics’. Hence, the heading of the passage on the 2002 Gujarat riots has been changed from ‘Anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat’ to just ‘Gujarat riots’. In fact, in the same paragraph, the 1984 riots are described as anti-Sikh.
And not just the heading, 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. 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.