Faiz poems, chapters on democracy and diversity dropped from Class 10 CBSE textbooks

The CBSE has removed translated excerpts from two poems in Urdu by Faiz Ahmed Faiz in the “Religion, Communalism and Politics — Communalism, Secular State” section of NCERT’s Class 10 textbook

Faiz poems, chapters on democracy and diversity dropped from Class 10 CBSE textbooks
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The CBSE 2022-23 curriculum, which was released on Thursday, has removed translated excerpts from two poems in Urdu by Faiz Ahmed Faiz in the “Religion, Communalism and Politics — Communalism, Secular State” section of NCERT’s Class 10 textbook “Democratic Politics II”. Chapters on “democracy and diversity” have also been dropped. It was in the CBSE text books for over a decade.

The portion of the curriculum document, which lists the Social Science course content for Class 10, states that the segment on religion, communalism and politics will continue to be part of the course content — “excluding image on page 46, 48, 49” — Democratic Politics –II - reprinted edition 2021," reads the curriculum.

These excerpts were a part of NCERT Democratic Politics II, Chapter 4 - Gender, Religion and Caste. The images excluded include two posters and a political cartoon. One of the posters, illustrated with Faiz’s verses, was issued by NGO ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy), which has activists Shabnam Hashmi and Harsh Mander among its co-founders.

The poem from which these verses were taken was composed by Faiz when he was being taken from a jail in Lahore, in chains, to a dentist's office in a tonga through lanes that were familiar to him.

The second poster, with excerpts of the other Faiz poem, was issued by Voluntary Health Association of India, which describes itself as a federation of 27 state associations. Urdu literary web portal Rekhta stated that Faiz had written this poem after his visit to Dhaka in 1974.


The cartoon was by Ajith Ninan of Times of India and it depicted an empty chair adorned with religious symbols, accompanied by the caption “This chair is for the CM-designate to prove his secular credentials…There will be plenty of rocking!”

A committee chaired by the late Prof Hari Vasudevan of the University of Calcutta’s Department of History developed the textbook following the revision of the National Curriculum Framework in 2005.

The chapter “democracy and diversity”, which also has also been dropped introduced students to the concept of social divisions and inequalities along the lines of race and caste across the world, including in India; “popular struggle and movements” with focus on Nepal and Bolivia; and, “challenges to democracy” on reforming democratic politics.

Additionally, a chapter on “Central Islamic Lands” is missing from the History course content for Class 11. It spoke with the rise of Islamic empires in Afro-Asian territories and its implications for economy and society, according to the curriculum for 2021-22.

Social Science themes that have been axed include “impact of globalisation on agriculture” from a chapter on Food Security in the Class 10 curriculum. A chapter on “Cold war era and Non-aligned Movement” has been dropped from the Class 12 Political Science curriculum.

A unit on mathematical reasoning has been dropped from the Class 11 curriculum. Composite functions, inverse of a function, elementary properties of inverse trigonometric functions, mathematical formulation of linear programming problems, and binomial probability distribution have also been removed.

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