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Remove references to riots, Urdu words from textbooks, says RSS-affiliated educational outfit

In a letter to the NCERT, the Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas said the textbooks were biased.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas has asked the National Council of Educational Research and Training to remove Urdu words from textbooks, among a list of suggestions that it says will help remove biases from school curricula, The Indian Express reported on Monday.

The five-page list has asked NCERT to drop both Urdu and Arabic words, a poem by Pash, a couplet by Mirza Ghalib, writings of Rabindranath Tagore and extracts from painter MF Husain’s autobiography from the textbooks. It does not want Mughal emperors described as benevolent or the Bharatiya Janata Party as a Hindu outfit or even the National Conference as secular. It also seeks to remove former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s apology for the 1984 riots and the sentence “nearly 2,000 Muslims were killed in Gujarat in 2002”.

“Several things [in these books] are baseless, biased,” The Indian Express quoted Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas Secretary Atul Kothari as saying. “There is an attempt to insult members of a community.” Kothari added that children cannot be inspired by riots. “The history of valour, of great personalities like Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Vivekananda and Subhas Chandra Bose find no place,” he added.

The Nyas – headed by former chief of RSS’ education wing Dina Nath Batra – has also alleged that the Class 11 political science textbook talks about the “massive majority of Congress in 1984”, but gives no details of the 1977 elections.

Later in the day, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said the statement has come as a shock especially from the head of the Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas. “BJP needs to do something on this... Because of these kinds of people and their ideologies India will soon perish,” he added.

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