Kerala chief minister releases supplementary textbooks; attacks NCERT over removal of portions

The Leftist veteran also said that extra vigil should be paid against any such textbook reformations done in the name of rationalisation.


Published Aug 24, 2023 | 12:55 PM Updated Aug 24, 2023 | 12:55 PM

Pinarayi Vijayan accused the NCERT of "whitewashing the fake history" created by the Sangh Parivar by excluding these portions. (Twitter)

On Wednesday, 23 August, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan strongly criticised the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for its recent omission of key portions from school textbooks and said that the move was with the political intention of creating a society rooted in hatred and animosity.

The attempt would change the social and historical perspective of the students, and would put society in danger, which stands firm on the ideals of secularism and brotherhood, he said.

The Leftist veteran also said that extra vigil should be paid against any such textbook reformations done in the name of rationalisation.

‘Creating a society rooted in hate’

Vijayan was speaking after launching a set of supplementary textbooks, including the portions deleted by the NCERT, for Classes 11 and 12.

The chief minister said that by removing portions of the Mughal Empire from the textbooks, they were trying to create the impression that the country belongs to a particular group.

“They removed Mughal history to create a sense that this country belonged to a particular section and to create a sense among children that all other sections needed to be driven away from this country. It is essential to negate social truths to build a religious state and that is what is being attempted. We have to be very cautious against such moves,” he said.

To create a society rooted in hatred and animosity was the objective of such moves, he rued, adding that the proponents of a nation based on religion had a feeling that the rest of the things would be easier for them. So, extra vigil should be taken against such textbook reformations, he said.

Also Read: NCERT omissions mock the intelligence of Kerala’s people: Sivankutty

‘Scientific knowledge is important’

Stating that it is very important to ensure that our children secure scientific and factual knowledge from schools, the chief minister said that “only then can we say that they received an excellent education”. The release of the supplementary textbooks is a move to achieve that goal, he said.

He further explained, “In the name of rationalisation, some key changes were made in the NCERT textbooks for the academic year 2023-24.”

“Some portions were completely avoided, citing the process, and Kerala and the state government are viewing the developments with the utmost seriousness. Because, as per their view, those deleted portions were the ones that could not be removed at any cost,” the chief minister explained.

“The supplementary textbooks were brought out after including those unavoidable portions in subjects like History, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, and so on,” he said.

“NCERT is making many unilateral interventions in the education sector at the national level in the name of rationalisation,” he charged.

Also Read: NCERT revision of textbooks part of ‘saffronisation’ agenda: Kerala CM

‘Primary education is state responsibility’

Stating that primary education is the sole responsibility of the state governments, he said that the Kerala government is coming out with the supplementary textbooks, shouldering the duty with utmost seriousness.

In Classes 11 and 12, 44 textbooks of the NCERT are being used. Naturally, the students studying in those classes would get portions selected and prepared by the NCERT with its “special interest”, he said.

“It will change the social and historical outlook of the students and put our society, which stands firm on ideals of secularism and brotherhood, in danger,” Vijayan alleged.

The Kerala government came up with this alternative measure of releasing supplementary textbooks with this realisation.

Though the NCERT claimed that the changes were made as per expert opinion, they were yet to reveal who those experts are, he said. An educational policy that imparts scientific temper, gender awareness, and historical understanding is the need of the hour, he added.

But the stand taken by the authorities was to avoid those portions that uphold constitutional values like secularism, he alleged.

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Gandhi’s assassination ‘deleted’

Vijayan pointed out that one of the deleted portions was with regard to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. Everybody knows which outfits were behind the assassination of the Father of the Nation and what their ideology was, he noted.

Such portions were deleted not to simplify the textbooks, but with political intention, he further alleged. The attempt of such reforms was to “whitewash” those individuals and outfits involved in Gandhi’s assassination.

There was no doubt that such authorities would make Gandhi’s assassin Godse a great personality in the coming days, he further charged.

The recent riots, triggered in many parts of the country, reemphasise the need to include the lessons of togetherness, brotherhood, and humanitarian values in the school textbooks, he said.

It is a matter of utmost seriousness. “If knowledge is to be used for social development, students should be able to understand History, Science, and other such subjects with a rational mind,” he said, adding that the supplementary textbooks would help with the same.

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