Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Education

Rashtriya Shiksha Shredder: Rahul Gandhi on CBSE’s latest omissions

Latest exclusions are 'democracy and diversity', Mughal courts, Faiz Ahmed Faiz poems, 2 years ago chapter on “federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism" were dropped, then restored

Sabrangindia 25 Apr 2022

CBSE Image Courtesy:Twitter

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), in 2020 had ‘edited’ the Class 12 history syllabus. It had dropped the chapter 'The Mughal Court: Reconstructing Histories through Chronicles'. The act was hotly debated. However, soon after that the Covid-19 pandemic devastation hit, and the controversy ebbed. Though even in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) decided that high-school students no longer need to learn about “federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism”. Those chapters were deleted from the political science curriculum of Class 11. Chapters on demonetization, were also removed from CBSE syllabus ostensibly ‘to reduce burden on students’. However, the 'deleted' topics were then restored in the 2021-22 academic session and still remain a part of the CBSE syllabus, reported the India Today.

Now, in 2022, as the school system goes offline and physical classes are the norm again, the CBSE has dropped more topics including 'democracy and diversity, Mughal courts,’ as well as poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz from the syllabus. According to a report in India Today, the dropped chapters taught the “Non-Alignment Movement, the Cold War era, the rise of Islamic empires in Afro-Asian territories, chronicles of Mughal courts, and the industrial revolution.” These were a part of the CBSE’s Class 11 and 12 political science syllabus.

According to news reports, the chapter 'Central Islamic Lands' documented “the rise of Islamic empires in Afro-Asian territories and its impact on economy and society” and discussed “different facets of Islam in terms of how it emerged, the rise of the caliphate and empire building.” From the Class 10 social science syllabus, "impact of globalisation on agriculture" from a chapter on 'Food Security' has been dropped, state news reports, as have chapters on 'democracy and diversity'.

The board has also removed translations of two Urdu poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. These were a part of section 'Religion, Communalism and Politics - Communalism, Secular State'. According to India Today, officials said that the exclusions are a "part of the syllabus rationalisation process and were in line with NCERT recommendations.” 

This has been particularly seen as bizarre, as Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s works have been popular even among the Bharatiya Janata Party’s founding father the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who in 1981 met the poet Faiz. The photo has gone viral once again today.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has now hit out at the RSS for its alleged attempt and impact on saffronising India’s education and called it the “Rashtriya Shiksha Shredder”.

The right-wing has been easily offended by “Hum Dekhenge, Laazim Hai ki Hum Bhi Dekhenge” which is a piece of protest poetry that has gained popularity over the decades since it was written by Faiz in 1979 chastising General Zia-ul-Haq recounting the Prophet’s conquest of Mecca. In 2019-2020, Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s  poem Hum Dekhenge was sung by students across the country, when they were targeted by the powers that be for dissenting. The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur had even set up a panel to “investigate” if the  iconic poem was “anti-Hindu”, in 2020, after it had been recited on IITK campus on December 17 by students during a solidarity march held in support of students of Delhi’s Jamia Milia University. The December 15, attack on JMI campus had been followed by nationwide protests by students and civil society, the poem was one again recited across the nation and continues to remain popular two years down the line as each new generation discovers it afresh.

A new New Education Policy (NEP) was proposed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, within weeks of returning to power for a second term in May 2019. It was a part of the Alliance’s election promise.  

In an exclusive to SabrangIndia in 2020, human rights defender and a former professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay)  Dr Ram Puniyani, had analysed this  “furthering of sectarian agenda in education”. He explained that this was first done when BJP came to power in 1998 as NDA and Murli Manohar Joshi as the MHRD minister brought in the ‘saffronisation of education’. Astrology and Paurohitya, chapters defending caste system, nationalism of the type of Hitler were introduced. Once again after 2014 the “RSS affiliates working in the area of education have been active,” he wrote, that the new regime sought “to change the curriculum matching with their Hindu nationalist agenda. Its ‘Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas’ has been asking for removal of English, Urdu words in the texts. It has asked for removal of thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore on Nationalism, extracts of autobiography of M F Husain, references to benevolence of Muslim rulers, references to BJP being Hindu party, apology of Dr. Manmohan Singh for anti Sikh pogrom of 1984, the reference to killings of Gujarat carnage in 2002 among others. This they call as Bhartiykaran of syllabus.”

On November 11, 2021, the All India Forum for Right To Education (AIFRTE) demanded the repeal of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. An ‘NEP Quit India campaign’ was also announced that year.

Related:

OC has violated the democratic process of syllabus-making: DU teachers
DU should apologise to Bama, Sukirtharani and Mahesweta Devi: Dalit Intellectual Collective
Dire lessons from history
Faiz Ahmad Faiz and the de-Islamisation of a Muslim revolutionary
Covid 19 and furthering of sectarian agenda in education
Are citizenship and secularism ‘disposable’ subjects for Indian students?

Rashtriya Shiksha Shredder: Rahul Gandhi on CBSE’s latest omissions

Latest exclusions are 'democracy and diversity', Mughal courts, Faiz Ahmed Faiz poems, 2 years ago chapter on “federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism" were dropped, then restored

CBSE Image Courtesy:Twitter

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), in 2020 had ‘edited’ the Class 12 history syllabus. It had dropped the chapter 'The Mughal Court: Reconstructing Histories through Chronicles'. The act was hotly debated. However, soon after that the Covid-19 pandemic devastation hit, and the controversy ebbed. Though even in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) decided that high-school students no longer need to learn about “federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism”. Those chapters were deleted from the political science curriculum of Class 11. Chapters on demonetization, were also removed from CBSE syllabus ostensibly ‘to reduce burden on students’. However, the 'deleted' topics were then restored in the 2021-22 academic session and still remain a part of the CBSE syllabus, reported the India Today.

Now, in 2022, as the school system goes offline and physical classes are the norm again, the CBSE has dropped more topics including 'democracy and diversity, Mughal courts,’ as well as poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz from the syllabus. According to a report in India Today, the dropped chapters taught the “Non-Alignment Movement, the Cold War era, the rise of Islamic empires in Afro-Asian territories, chronicles of Mughal courts, and the industrial revolution.” These were a part of the CBSE’s Class 11 and 12 political science syllabus.

According to news reports, the chapter 'Central Islamic Lands' documented “the rise of Islamic empires in Afro-Asian territories and its impact on economy and society” and discussed “different facets of Islam in terms of how it emerged, the rise of the caliphate and empire building.” From the Class 10 social science syllabus, "impact of globalisation on agriculture" from a chapter on 'Food Security' has been dropped, state news reports, as have chapters on 'democracy and diversity'.

The board has also removed translations of two Urdu poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. These were a part of section 'Religion, Communalism and Politics - Communalism, Secular State'. According to India Today, officials said that the exclusions are a "part of the syllabus rationalisation process and were in line with NCERT recommendations.” 

This has been particularly seen as bizarre, as Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s works have been popular even among the Bharatiya Janata Party’s founding father the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who in 1981 met the poet Faiz. The photo has gone viral once again today.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has now hit out at the RSS for its alleged attempt and impact on saffronising India’s education and called it the “Rashtriya Shiksha Shredder”.

The right-wing has been easily offended by “Hum Dekhenge, Laazim Hai ki Hum Bhi Dekhenge” which is a piece of protest poetry that has gained popularity over the decades since it was written by Faiz in 1979 chastising General Zia-ul-Haq recounting the Prophet’s conquest of Mecca. In 2019-2020, Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s  poem Hum Dekhenge was sung by students across the country, when they were targeted by the powers that be for dissenting. The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur had even set up a panel to “investigate” if the  iconic poem was “anti-Hindu”, in 2020, after it had been recited on IITK campus on December 17 by students during a solidarity march held in support of students of Delhi’s Jamia Milia University. The December 15, attack on JMI campus had been followed by nationwide protests by students and civil society, the poem was one again recited across the nation and continues to remain popular two years down the line as each new generation discovers it afresh.

A new New Education Policy (NEP) was proposed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, within weeks of returning to power for a second term in May 2019. It was a part of the Alliance’s election promise.  

In an exclusive to SabrangIndia in 2020, human rights defender and a former professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay)  Dr Ram Puniyani, had analysed this  “furthering of sectarian agenda in education”. He explained that this was first done when BJP came to power in 1998 as NDA and Murli Manohar Joshi as the MHRD minister brought in the ‘saffronisation of education’. Astrology and Paurohitya, chapters defending caste system, nationalism of the type of Hitler were introduced. Once again after 2014 the “RSS affiliates working in the area of education have been active,” he wrote, that the new regime sought “to change the curriculum matching with their Hindu nationalist agenda. Its ‘Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas’ has been asking for removal of English, Urdu words in the texts. It has asked for removal of thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore on Nationalism, extracts of autobiography of M F Husain, references to benevolence of Muslim rulers, references to BJP being Hindu party, apology of Dr. Manmohan Singh for anti Sikh pogrom of 1984, the reference to killings of Gujarat carnage in 2002 among others. This they call as Bhartiykaran of syllabus.”

On November 11, 2021, the All India Forum for Right To Education (AIFRTE) demanded the repeal of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. An ‘NEP Quit India campaign’ was also announced that year.

Related:

OC has violated the democratic process of syllabus-making: DU teachers
DU should apologise to Bama, Sukirtharani and Mahesweta Devi: Dalit Intellectual Collective
Dire lessons from history
Faiz Ahmad Faiz and the de-Islamisation of a Muslim revolutionary
Covid 19 and furthering of sectarian agenda in education
Are citizenship and secularism ‘disposable’ subjects for Indian students?

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Hate, Arms, Shrine Takeovers: Is Hindutva extremism at its peak in Karnataka?

WATCH: In this SabrangIndia Exclusive show called 'Column 9', journalist & activist Shivasundar talks about the journey of Hindutva Extremism, from fringe groups to the center, in Karnataka, which is arguably empowered and emboldened by the legislative and judiciary, simultaneously.

Communalism

Hate, Arms, Shrine Takeovers: Is Hindutva extremism at its peak in Karnataka?

WATCH: In this SabrangIndia Exclusive show called 'Column 9', journalist & activist Shivasundar talks about the journey of Hindutva Extremism, from fringe groups to the center, in Karnataka, which is arguably empowered and emboldened by the legislative and judiciary, simultaneously.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives