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NCERT drops references to Prophet Muhammad, Mughals and Nehru

NCERT drops references to Prophet Muhammad, Mughals and Nehru

NCERT drops references to Prophet Muhammad, Mughals and Nehru

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has dropped down passages that challenged common misconceptions about Muslims, mentioned Jawaharlal Nehru and some Mughal rulers, and dealt with caste and religious prejudices.

A report by Telegraph noted that a few paragraphs on Prophet Muhammed were cut from the book’s chapter on new empires and kingdoms. One of the omitted clauses was this one: “Like Christianity, Islam was a religion that laid stress on the equality and unity of all before Allah.”

The ‘Our Pasts-II book’ for Class VII no longer includes certain introductory material on the Mughal emperors Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb.

For example, in the book Social and Political Life-I for Class VI, there was a paragraph that has been deleted that reads: “A common stereotype about some Muslims is that they are not interested in educating girls and therefore do not send girls to school. However, studies have now shown that poverty amongst Muslims is an important reason why Muslim girls do not attend school or drop out from (sic) school after a few years.”

Further a paragraph removed from the chapter “Diversity and discrimination” in the same book outlined how people engaged in work such as cleaning, washing, cutting hair and picking garbage are seen as dirty and “impure”.

“ Caste rules were set which did not allow the so-called ‘untouchables’ to take on work, other than what they were meant to do,” the deleted paragraph said.

“ For example, some groups were forced to pick garbage and remove dead animals from the village. But they were not allowed to enter the homes of the upper castes or take water from the village well or even enter temples. Their children could not sit next to children from other castes in schools. Thus upper castes acted in ways which did not give the so-called untouchables the same rights as they enjoyed.”

The National Confederation of Dalit and Adivasi Organizations chair, Ashok Bharti, told the Telegraph that members of the NCERT review group seemed to harbour remorse about historical truths.

“Instead of addressing their guilt, they are removing the instances of casteism, thereby trying to hide their paap (sin),” Bharti said.

“ Historical truth should not be tampered with. There are innumerable books that state these inconvenient truths. These attempts (deletion of textbook content) will not hide inhuman deeds and historical facts.”

Bharti alleged that the deletions had been carried out on ideological lines and at the instance of the government.

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