Education

NCERT scraps content on ‘JK separatist politics’ from textbooks, adds ‘scrapping of special status’

File photo of textbook showing a mosque as a source for noise pollution.

The revised chapter now carries UN resolution that recommended a free and fair plebiscite

In 2017, a class six textbook showed a mosque as a source for noise pollution

In a revised chapter in the twelfth standard political science textbook, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has replaced content on pro-freedom politics in Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) with electoral politics and scrapping of its special status in August 2019, reported the Indian Express.

The Indian Express compared the old and new versions of the textbook to find that the topic ‘Separatism and Beyond’, which elaborated on “different forms” of separatist politics in J&K, has been deleted.

The revised chapter now also carries details about the United Nation’s 1948 resolution that recommended a free and fair plebiscite in J&K.

Under ‘Separatism and Beyond’, the old version of the textbook further stated that the initial period of “popular support to militancy has now given way to the urge for peace” and that the Government of India has ‘started negotiations with various separatist groups’.

“Separatist politics which surfaced in Kashmir from 1989 has taken different forms and is made up of various strands. There is one strand of separatists who want a separate Kashmiri nation, independent of India and Pakistan. Then there are groups that want Kashmir to merge with Pakistan. Besides these, there is a third strand which wants greater autonomy for the people of the State within the Indian union,” the deleted portion read.

“The idea of autonomy attracts the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions in a different way. They often complain of neglect and backwardness. Therefore, the demand for intra-State autonomy is as strong as the demand for the State autonomy,” the deleted portion further read.

Earlier, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had dropped the key chapters like Democratic Rights, Food Security in India, Federalism, Citizenship and Secularism from the school courses.

In 2017, a class six textbook has sparked a controversy by showing a mosque, a Muslim place of worship, as a source for noise pollution.

The Parliament of India had in August last year adopted a resolution to abrogate Article 370, and passed a Bill to bifurcate the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, controlled directly by the Government of India.

Article 370 granted Jammu and Kashmir autonomy, and its scrapping was done as all Kashmiri political representatives were kept under detention, communication in Kashmir was blacked out, and thousands were imprisoned.

The removal of Article 370 has made concrete the fears of demographic change in the Muslim majority region of Kashmir, as laws regarding land ownership and citizenship have been changed by the Government of India controlled administration.

On July 3, BJP’s General Secretary Ram Madhav said that party’s J&K unit is of the opinion that statehood should be given back to the erstwhile state when the time is favourable.

 

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