In a new set of changes introduced by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) under its latest syllabus ‘rationalisation’ exercise, chunks of Indian political and social history have been dropped from the syllabus of secondary and senior secondary school books. According to the autonomous body, the changes were made to ease the burden of students grappling with academic backlog and delays caused by Covid-19. However, in the name of ‘rationalisation’, NCERT seems to have adopted a method of hasty deletion. Passages have been reduced, quotes cut and exercise boxes flung out.
But was it really done in haste? Some of the key portions dropped by NCERT from its history, sociology and political science textbooks, include the 2002 Gujarat riots, quotes of Jawaharlal Nehru, caste oppression, democratic movements, farmers’ protests and Mughal history.