The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) revises a chapter in Class 12 Political Science. It has undertaken the replacement of content on separatist politics. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) had different forms of separatist politics and article 370 was existent in the state, giving it a special status. Article 370 was abrogated last year in August and this hadn’t been mentioned in any of the books. NCERT took this step and mentioned this major change in the Political Science Syllabus.
What has been removed?
The change in J&K’s status has been introduced by NCERT in the chapter titled “Regional Aspirations” in NCERT’s textbook called ‘Politics in India since Independence.’ The Indian Express compared the two versions of the book to find out the differences. On a comparative survey, they found that the topic “Separatism and Beyond” has been deleted.
This portion of the book earlier talked about the “different forms” of separatist politics that existed in Jammu and Kashmir. The deleted portion read the following: “Separatist politics which surfaced in Kashmir from 1989 has taken different forms and is made up of various strands…The idea of autonomy attracts the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions in a different way… Therefore, the demand for intra-state autonomy is as strong as the demand for state autonomy.” This section of the book has now been replaced and titled as “2002 and Beyond.” It talks about democratically elected coalition governments from 2002 up until today.
What has been added?
The book has added the abrogation of special status.”The President’s rule was imposed in June 2018 after BJP withdrew its support to the Mufti Government. On August 5, 2019, Article 370 was abolished…and the state was constituted into two Union Territories, viz. Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh”, an excerpt from the new book read.
NCERT has also added details regarding the United Nations’s 1948 resolution. These details focus on a free and fair plebiscite in J&K. The topic on Article 370 says that Jammu and Kashmir, “in spite of enjoying the special status”, saw cross-border terrorism and political instability. It also mentions the loss of life of many innocents and causes of displacement of Kashmiri Pandits. The book now talks about how Mufti’s reigning period witnessed major acts of terrorism.
There has been a lot of subtractions and additions. A cartoon depicting peace in Kashmir that presented a dove riddled with bullets has also been removed from the book. This book has been adapted by about 19 school systems from around 14 states.
This step, however, is an important change in the history of the education system. It will motivate other institutes to do so. It allows us to acknowledge the fact that a change was brought in the Constitution of India and also the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. The addition and subtraction act as a necessary step to inspiring change in certain aspects of the education system in India.