Maulana Azad removed from NCERT's new Class 11 political science textbook

Last year, the Ministry of Minority Affairs had discontinued the Maulana Azad Fellowship for students from six notified minority communities

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad


References to freedom fighter and India's first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad have been removed from the new Class 11 political science textbook by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

As part of its "syllabus rationalisation" exercise last year, the NCERT—citing "overlapping" and "irrelevant" as reasons—dropped certain portions from the course from textbooks, including lessons on the Gujarat riots, Mughal courts, the 1975 Emergency, the Cold War, the Naxalite movement, among others.

The NCERT has, however, claimed that no curriculum trimming has taken place this year and the syllabus was rationalised only in June last year.

"Certain changes not finding mention in the rationalised content book could be an oversight," NCERT director Dinesh Saklani reiterated.

In the Class 11 political science textbook, the first chapter titled 'Constitution—Why and How' has a line revision that omits Azad's name from the Constituent Assembly Committee meetings. The revised line now reads, 'Usually, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel or BR Ambedkar chaired these Committees.'

Last year, the Ministry of Minority Affairs had discontinued the Maulana Azad Fellowship, which was launched in 2009 and provided financial assistance for five years to students from six notified minorities.

Meanwhile, in the tenth chapter of the same textbook, 'The Philosophy of the Constitution', the reference to Jammu and Kashmir's conditional accession has also been deleted. The dropped paragraph used to read: 'For example, the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian union was based on a commitment to safeguard its autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution.'

Portions already elided from the Class 12 political science textbook for the new academic session include:

  • 'Gandhiji's death had magical effect on communal situation in the country'

  • 'Gandhi's pursuit of Hindu-Muslim unity provoked Hindu extremists'

  • and 'Organisations like RSS were banned for some time'

The portions referring to the Gujarat riots have also been dropped from the Class 11 sociology textbook, months after the NCERT removed the reference to the 2022 communal violence in two Class 12 textbooks too.

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