NCERT Removes References to Khalistan Movement from Class 12 Political Science Textbooks

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The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has recently made changes to its Class 12 political science textbooks by dropping references to the “Khalistan” movement. This decision comes after a series of revisions in the board’s history syllabus, which sparked a major political controversy two months ago. The decision to remove content related to the Khalistan movement was made following a representation from the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex body for managing gurdwaras in Punjab. The SGPC raised concerns about what they considered “objectionable content” against Sikhs and requested its removal from the textbooks. The changes made by NCERT involve modifying a paragraph that mentioned the Anandpur Sahib Resolution of 1973, initiated by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

The resolution called for various demands, including the recognition of Sikhism as separate from Hinduism, increased state autonomy, and more power for the state of Punjab. References to the creation of a separate Sikh nation have also been removed. Sanjay Kumar, the secretary for the Union department of school education and literacy, stated that a committee was formed to examine the demands of the SGPC, and the changes were based on their suggestions. Since the textbooks had already been printed and distributed, NCERT issued a corrigendum and made the necessary corrections in the online versions of the textbooks.

This development follows the previous controversy surrounding NCERT’s revisions in its syllabus, particularly in history and political science textbooks. Among the changes that received significant criticism were the omission of content on the Mughals and the 2002 Gujarat riots. NCERT defended its decision, stating that it aimed to rationalize the curriculum and reduce the burden on students. The removal of references to the Khalistan movement from the Class 12 political science textbooks reflects ongoing debates over the portrayal of sensitive historical events and movements in educational materials.

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