The 2002 Gujarat riots, one of the worst instances of communal carnage since Independence will lo longer be referred to as ‘anti-Muslim riots’ by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in its textbooks.
According to Hindustan Times report, the decision was taken at a meeting of the course review committee of representatives of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the NCERT.
The text book for Class 12, which was published when the UPA was in power, referred to the incident as the “anti-Muslim riots”. Now it will be called as the “Gujarat riots” only.
The carnage against the Muslims were launched after rumours that they had been responsible for the death of 57 Hindu pilgrims due to a fire in a train compartment at Godhra station. According to official estimates, the subsequent riots claimed lives of nearly 800 Muslims and around 250 Hindus, between February and March 2002.
“In February-March 2002, large-scale violence against Muslims took place in Gujarat …. A bogey of a train that was returning from Ayodhya and was full of karsevaks was set on fire... Suspecting the hands of Muslims in setting fire to the bogey, large-scale violence against Muslims began in many parts of Gujarat...,” a passage titled ‘Anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat,’ reportedly reads. Now, it will be rewritten.
“Points raised by CBSE have already been taken up by NCERT. Changes will be made and it will be reflected once the book is reprinted by the end of the year,” a senior NCERT official was quoted by the daily.
The chapter also mentions the National Human Rights Commission criticising the then Gujarat government for failing to curb the violence and provide relief to its victims. Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time.
The new text books are expected to be printed by the end of 2017 as the NCERT termed the move as routine and aimed at keeping the text books updated.