NCERT’s Textbook Revisions: Ayodhya Temple Chief Priest Criticizes

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New Delhi: The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) recently defended its decision to omit significant historical events, including the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, LK Advani’s Rath Yatra, and the 2002 Gujarat Riots, from the class 12 Political Science textbook. NCERT Director Dinesh Prasad Saklani, in a media interview on June 16, termed the public outcry over these changes as “irrelevant.”

NCERT’s Stand on Educational Content

Saklani emphasized the importance of fostering positive citizenship through education, questioning the necessity of teaching about riots in school textbooks. “Why should we teach about riots in school textbooks? We want to create positive citizens, not violent and depressed individuals. Should we teach our students in a manner that they become offensive, create hatred in society, or become victims of hatred? Is that the purpose of education?” he remarked.

Controversial Omissions in Textbooks

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Earlier this year, it was revealed that several key references had been excised from the chapter titled ‘Recent Developments in Indian Politics’ in the class 12 Political Science textbook. This includes pivotal moments such as the demolition of the Babri Masjid, a landmark event in India’s recent history. The Babri Masjid, a three-domed mosque, was demolished on December 6, 1992, an incident that led to widespread riots and significantly altered the socio-political landscape of the country.

Reactions from Ayodhya’s Religious Leaders

Ayodhya Ram Mandir’s chief priest, Satyendra Das Maharaj, expressed dissatisfaction with the newly revised textbooks. Speaking to ANI, he highlighted critical omissions related to the Ayodhya movement, particularly the events surrounding the Babri Masjid. “There are some shortcomings in the new NCERT textbook regarding the Babri Masjid issue. They do not mention how the three-domed structure was removed on December 6, 1992; they are only starting to narrate the issue from November 9, 2019, when the Ayodhya verdict was given,” he stated.

The priest’s comments underscore the controversy surrounding the use of the term “three-dome structure” in the revised textbooks, a phrase that has ignited further debate and criticism.

Broader Implications for Historical Education

The changes have sparked a national conversation about the role of education in shaping young minds and the importance of presenting a balanced view of history. Critics argue that omitting such significant events may lead to a generation of students unaware of crucial aspects of their nation’s past. Proponents of the changes, however, maintain that the focus should be on fostering a positive and inclusive national identity.

Conclusion

The NCERT’s revisions have undoubtedly stirred controversy and raised questions about the nature and purpose of historical education in India. As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact students’ understanding of their country’s history and its implications for the future of Indian society.

Key Points:

  • NCERT omits references to the Babri Masjid demolition, LK Advani’s Rath Yatra, and the 2002 Gujarat Riots from class 12 Political Science textbook.
  • NCERT Director Dinesh Prasad Saklani defends changes, emphasizing the need to create positive citizens.
  • Ayodhya Ram Mandir’s chief priest, Satyendra Das Maharaj, criticizes omissions, highlighting the importance of these historical events.
  • Controversy revolves around the term “three-dome structure” used in revised textbooks.
  • National debate on the role of education in presenting a balanced historical perspective.

Conclusion: The ongoing debate underscores the delicate balance between fostering positive citizenship and providing a comprehensive understanding of history in educational curricula.

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