The Central Board of Secondary Education has proposed that the Class 12 Political Science II book refer to the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat simply as the “Gujarat riots” instead of the current “anti-Muslim riots”. The proposal was made in a meeting of the CBSE’s course review committee in New Delhi, according to the Hindustan Times.
A section on the riots can be found under the subheading, “Anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat”, in the book’s ninth chapter titled “Politics in India since Independence”. The section goes on to describe the conflagration triggered by the killing of 57 kar sevaks in Godhra.
“In February-March 2002, large-scale violence against Muslims took place in Gujarat …. A bogey of a train that was returning from Ayodhya and was full of kar sevaks was set on fire... Suspecting the hands of Muslims in setting fire to the bogey, large-scale violence against Muslims began in many parts of Gujarat...” the passage describes. It is this subheading that the CBSE reportedly wants to change.
However, a spokesperson of the National Council of Educational Research and Training, which prints textbooks used in CBSE schools, sought to dissociate his organisation from the matter. “This was not a meeting of the NCERT’s review committee, but CBSE’s. We only sent a representative. If CBSE has recommended a change, it is one part of a range of feedback that we (expect to) receive,” NCERT official Hemant Kumar told Scroll.in.
The textbook in question was published in 2007, when the previous United Progressive Alliance government led by the Congress was in power.