By Muslim Mirror Staff
In a decision that has rolled eyeballs, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has dropped three chapters from its Class 9 history textbook, including one that illustrates caste conflict through the struggles of the so-called ‘lower caste’ Nadar women of Travancore, who were forced to keep their upper bodies uncovered.
The decision to delete almost 70 pages from the textbook, titled India and the Contemporary World – I, is part of the curriculum rationalisation exercise initiated at HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar’s behest to reduce the burden on students.
This is the second textbook review undertaken under the incumbent government. The revised textbooks will hit the shelves this month, before the new academic session begins. In 2017, NCERT made 1,334 changes, which included additions, correction and data update in 182 textbooks.
The revised textbooks are expected to hit the stands this month before the new academic session begins. This is the second textbook review undertaken under the Narendra Modi government after NCERT had made 1,334 changes, which included additions, correction and data update in 2017.
Out of the three chapters deleted, ‘Clothing: A social history’, the Nadar community is referred to under the ‘caste conflict and dress change’ sub-head, wherein it is stated that a majority of them were considered a ‘subordinate caste’ and that they were expected to follow the local custom of not covering their upper bodies.
The reference to the Nadar community in the textbook had triggered a major controversy in 2012 also and had invited flak from political parties.
DMK leader M. Karunanidhi and MDMK chief Vaiko had said it was unpardonable to describe the Nadars as a community of migrants whereas PMK leader S. Ramadoss also criticised certain objectionable remarks against Nadar women in the textbook.
In recent years, the NCERT was under pressure to replace a reference to the ‘Anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat’ in the political science textbook for Class XII to simply the ‘Gujarat Riots’ in addition to changing the interpretation of Hindutva. A passage in the book which carried Vajpayee’s famous ‘raj dharma’ quote was also reportedly considered to be unnecessary.