Exploring the Reasons Behind NCERT’s Removal of Mughal Chapters from History Syllabus

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The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) had announced its decision to erase certain chapters on the Mughal Empire from class 12 history textbooks. This move of erasing Mughal history from the syllabus attracted severe criticism from various political factions.

Uttar Pradesh announced that government schools would adopt the NCERT’s new class 12 history textbooks, which have had portions about Mughal courts removed from this academic session.

The NCERT had cited “overlapping” and “irrelevant” as reasons for dropping certain portions from the syllabus, including lessons on Mughal courts from its class 12 textbooks.

Which chapters have been being removed?

The erased chapters are related to ‘Kings and Chronicles; the Mughal Courts (C. 16th and 17th centuries)’ from the book ‘Themes of Indian History-Part II’. As per reports, from the Class 11 syllabus, chapters like Central Islamic Lands, Confrontation of cultures, and The Industrial Revolution have been removed. Additionally, from the Class 12 civics book Politics in Indian since Independence, chapters like Rise of popular movements and ‘Era of one-party dominance’ have been removed.

Furthermore, from the class 10 Democratic Politics-II textbooks, chapters like ‘Democracy and diversity,’ ‘Popular struggles and movement,’ and ‘Challenges to democracy’ have been removed. The NCERT has also removed some paragraphs from Class 12 Political Science Textbooks pertaining to a brief ban imposed on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) by the then government after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. Additionally, paragraphs on Gandhi’s quest for Hindu-Muslim unity provoked Hindu extremists have been removed, as per reports.

What has NCERT has said on omitting chapters?

The NCERT Director, Dinesh Prasad Saklani, clarified that chapters on Mughals had not been “dropped” from CBSE books, and said that it’s a “lie.” He said that expert committees examined the books from standards 6-12, who recommended that if certain chapters were dropped, it would not affect the knowledge of the children, and an unnecessary burden could be removed.

Saklani emphasized that even today, students are studying the history of the Mughals in NCERT’s class 7th book, and the history of Mughals is being taught in Empires in section-2 of the 11th class book. He stated that no chapter had been removed from any book this year, adding that they are working as per the National Education Policy 2020, which speaks of reducing the content load.

What did the Opposition say on the attempt to change history syllabus?

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that the Centre is erasing the past by removing Mughal history from the NCERT syllabus, while China is erasing our present.

He was referring to China renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh. BJP leader Kapil Mishra lauded the move and alleged that ‘thieves’ were being referred to as the Mughal rulers, and he said that the initiative would shine light on the ‘truth.’

Congress’s general secretary in-charge for Jharkhand Avinash Pandey alleged that the decision to drop lessons on Mughal courts from the NCERT books is an attempt to change the nation’s history. Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal has attacked the government and said that consistent with PM Modi’s India, modern Indian history should start from 2014.

In a tweet, Sibal said, “NCERT textbooks: Effaced: 1) Gandhi’s pursuit of Hindu Muslim unity 2) Banning of RSS 3) All references to Gujarat riots 4) Protests that turned into social movements in contemporary India.”

In conclusion, the removal of Mughal chapters from the history syllabus by NCERT has been a controversial decision that has sparked debates and discussions among academicians, historians, and the public alike. While NCERT has cited reasons such as reducing the syllabus load and focusing on more contemporary topics, critics argue that this decision may have been influenced by political ideologies and biases.

It is important to understand and acknowledge the contributions and impact of the Mughal empire on Indian history and culture, and the removal of their chapters from the syllabus can lead to a skewed understanding of the country’s past. It is crucial to maintain a balanced and unbiased approach in the education system and to ensure that our children learn about all aspects of our history, including the Mughal era, to understand and appreciate our rich heritage.

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