Maulana Azad loses place in NCERT textbook


India’s first Education Minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has lost a place in the revised political science textbook published by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

In the old Class 11 NCERT political science textbook, ‘Indian Constitution at Work’, Azad’s reference appeared in the first chapter ‘Constitution — Why and How?’.

A paragraph in the chapter read, “The Constituent Assembly had eight major Committees on different subjects. Usually, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad or Ambedkar chaired these Committees. These were not men who agreed with each other on many things. Ambedkar had been a bitter critic of the Congress and Gandhi, accusing them of not doing enough for the upliftment of Scheduled Castes. Patel and Nehru disagreed on many issues. Nevertheless, they all worked together.”

MS Education Academy

However, the revised textbook paragraph reads, ‘Usually, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel or B.R. Ambedkar chaired these Committees.’

This change omitted the significant contribution of Maulana Azad to India’s constitution drafting process.

Maulana Azad’s role in India’s independence

Azad played a crucial role in the elections for the new Constituent Assembly of India that drafted India’s constitution. In the election, he led the Congress and was an essential member of the assembly.

As Congress president, he led the delegation to negotiate with the British Cabinet Mission. Despite growing hostility from Jinnah, who described him as the “Muslim Lord Haw-Haw” and a “Congress Showboy,” Azad remained committed to Hindu-Muslim unity.

After Independence, Azad remained a close confidante, supporter, and advisor to prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. As India’s first Minister of Education, he emphasized educating the rural poor and girls.

Jammu and Kashmir’s conditional accession dropped

Besides Azad’s removal, the reference of Jammu and Kashmir’s conditional accession has also been dropped in the tenth chapter of NCERT textbook, ‘Indian Constitution at Work’.

The paragraph ‘For example, the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian union was based on a commitment to safeguard its autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution.’ has been deleted.

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( With inputs from )

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