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Cong, BJP learn lesson from new pol science book

Jun 28, 2007 10:56 PM IST India India

New Delhi: NCERT's new text book on Contemporary Indian History for Class 12 students will have some new chapters containing issues that are most sensitive and contentious in contemporary Indian politics - like the Emergency, Gujarat riots and the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

The Gujarat riots during Narendra Modi's BJP government reign and even the Ayodhya movement of the VHP have been dealt with in detail.

However, the authors of the book called Politics In Independent India have made a concerted effort not to be judgemental. They are simply quoting from various newspaper reports of the time, leaving topics open-ended for the students.

Says NCERT Advisory Committee member, Yogendra Yadav, "It offers more than one account and perspectives on more than one thing. If there is a controversial fact, we go by the official commission - Supreme Court, NHRC - rather giving our own judgement in the book. We also have an independent set of experts on all topics."

The issue of the new NCERT text books was raked up in the Winter Session of Parliament last year, so the writers of the political science text book knew that they were walking the tightrope.

And a tightrope walk they have done. Issues and events that the ruling Congress finds discomforting to discuss have been included as well, like imposition of Emergency and the anti-Sikh Riots of 1984.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh has even been quoted in the text book on his recent apology on the Sikh riots - verbatim.

It's an experiment of sorts and politicians across the spectrum would not be comfortable with a lot issues discussed, but an attempt has been made to deal with political science, as it is, in black and white.

IN BLACK AND WHITE: The writers of the political science text book knew they were walking the tightrope.