Furore over Removal of Secularism, Citizenship, Federalism, Democracy from CBSE Curriculum

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PTI photo used for illustrative purposes.

Clarion India

NEW DELHI – CBSE move to remove chapters on secularism, citizenship, federalism and nationalism from the syllabus at the behest of the Modi government has raised many an eyebrow. The board’s avowed intent to cut down the academic load on students is seen as an excuse to impose the agenda of the ruling dispensation.

The decision was taken after the HRD Ministry asked the CBSE to reduce the syllabus for classes IX and XII by 30 per cent to make up for the academic loss caused by the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact on the functioning of schools.

Defending the move, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal tweeted: “Considering the importance of learning achievement, it has been decided to rationalise syllabus up to 30 per cent by retaining the core concepts.”

“Looking at the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country and the world, #CBSE was advised to revise the curriculum and reduce course load for the students of Class 9th to 12th,” he added.

Chapters on citizenship, nationalism, secularism, federalism and local governments have been completely deleted from class XI syllabus for academic year 2020-2021. Why do we need local government, growth of local government in the political science are among the topics which students won’t have to study.

The chapter on democracy and diversity, gender, religion, caste, popular struggles and movements and challenges to democracy are among the topics which have been removed from the syllabus of class IX.

The deletion of the crucial topics which have been hotly debated after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power at the Centre evoked uproar from academic and political circles as well as from the civil society. On Twitter, many people expressed their apprehensions over the deletion of the significant topics.

The general refrain on the Twitter was that the government eliminated the topics from the curriculum since the ruling BJP was not comfortable with them ideologically.

Bollywood actress Richa Chadha called it sanitising of democracy. Sharing the report on this, she tweeted, “It’s not called ‘rationalising’, but ‘sanitising of democracy”

Academician Ali Khan Mahmudabad said these topics can be rewritten after deletion according to the ideology of the BJP.

“The deletion of the nationalism, secularism, federalism and citizenship sections in students pol sci textbooks is an indication of what‘s to come. They will be rewritten and reinserted into according to the BJP’s agenda at a later date,” tweeted Khan.

Reacting to this, another Twitter user Aditya Sharma wrote, “Spineless thugs of India have deleted a history of their choice. A generation will question memory of their experiences – smoke, blood & despair. Will blood not run free on the streets if history forgets? Will the smoke not rise?”

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