NCERT puts Gujarat riots in textbook

NEW DELHI: Gujarat riots will now be a subject of study for class XII students across the country as part of a bold NCERT move to bring post-Independence events into the classroom, warts and all.

In potentially controversial move, NCERT has decided to include it – along with topics like the Ayodhya dispute and 1984 Sikh carnage – in its political science textbook on politics in India since Independence, to be introduced next year.

Ayodhya and the Gujarat riots will be part of the chapter called Recent Issues and Challenges, while 1984 anti-Sikh killings will appear in the chapter on regional aspirations and conflicts.

"We will tell the truth about these incidents," said political scientist Yogendra Yadav, chief adviser on the panel for preparation of the textbooks.

"The textbooks will be written in a non-partisan manner. Political developments before and after these incidents will also be highlighted. We will not hurt the sentiments of any community," he said.

Yadav said contents of the course are in sync with NCERT’s efforts to connect knowledge with real life situations.

"Political science cannot be taught by sidestepping major events which influence society and polity. So, all the major happenings including the Emergency and other controversies will be covered," he added.

The topics will contain established facts taken from government sources which are beyond doubt, Yadav said.

The chapter on Gujarat riots, for instance, is said to have an overview of the incident and the large scale killing of "people of a particular community". NCERT sources, however, said the authors will be mindful of not showing the ruling party in bad light.

The BJP has called the move "highly objectionable".

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