Madhya Pradesh: The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday wrote to the union human resource development (HRD) ministry, seeking that a chapter titled ‘Politics of Independent India’ in the Class 12 political science book of NCERT be “corrected”. Among other things, the chapter describes the BJP as a party which promotes the agenda of Hindutva. The chapter also touches on the 2002 Godhra riots, and mentions then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous “follow the Raj Dharma” advice to the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government. “We sent a letter to the HRD ministry and NCERT on Wednesday, asking them to correct the controversial chapter,” state school education minister Dipak Joshi said.
The text book of the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) is taught in private schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in Madhya Pradesh. Joshi told PTI that the way the chapter describes the Godhra incident and its aftermath is totally wrong. Narendra Modi won a state election soon after the Godhra carnage, he noted. The chapter mentions that violence after the Godhra train burning incident left 1,100 people dead, and Vajpayee asked the Gujarat government to follow “Raj Dharma”. Joshi also said that the chapter praises the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, which is wrong.
“Many controversial things were incorporated in NCERT books during the previous UPA regime,” state BJP chief spokesman Dipak Vijaywargiya said. “When we noticed them, we had informed the authorities concerned, seeking their deletion. Some controversial content was scrapped. Now some more such thing have come to our notice,” he said. The opposition Congress said the BJP should “accept the truth”.
“BJP should accept the truth regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi as mentioned in the chapter… Vajpayee had asked then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi to follow Raj Dharma,” state Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said. “The BJP may get the chapter dropped, but it cannot erase people’s perception of it being communal,” he said.