Tharoor slams govt over removal of Maulana Azad references from NCERT textbook


New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday slammed the government over the removal of references to India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in the new NCERT class 11 political science textbook, calling it a “disgrace”.

References to freedom fighter and India’s first education minister Azad have been removed from the new class 11 political science textbook by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

Tagging a media report on it, Tharoor, a former minister of state for human resource development, tweeted, “What a disgrace. I have no objection to adding neglected figures to the historical narrative, but deleting people, especially for the wrong reasons, is unworthy of our diverse democracy and its storied history.”

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As part of its “syllabus rationalisation” exercise last year, the NCERT, citing “overlapping” and “irrelevant” as reasons, dropped certain portions from the course including lessons on Gujarat riots, Mughal courts, Emergency, Cold War, Naxalite movement, among others from its textbooks.

The rationalisation note had no mention of any changes in class 11 political science textbook.

The NCERT has, however, claimed that no curriculum trimming has taken place this year and the syllabus was rationalised in June last year.

“Certain changes not finding mention of in the rationalised content book could be an ‘oversight’,” NCERT Director Dinesh Saklani reiterated.

In the class 11 political science textbook’s first chapter, titled ‘Constitution – Why and How’, a line has been revised to omit Azad’s name from the constituent assembly committee meetings.

The revised line now reads, “Usually, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel or BR Ambedkar chaired these Committees.”

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( With inputs from )

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