Never suggested removal of Tagore, Ghalib texts: Educational body

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Kolkata, July 26 (IANS) Amid furore over alleged recommendations to exclude writings of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Mirza Ghalib from NCERT textbooks, welfare organisation Siksha Sanaskriti Utthan Nyas on Wednesday denied the charge and clarified it is not an RSS affiliate.

The organisation claimed that some political parties were trying to malign it by spreading rumours.

“We have already clarified our stand. Nyas has not recommended any texts of Rabindranath Tagore or Mirza Ghalib or anyone else (be removed) from the books,” Sushant Sengupta, a Nyas official, told reporters here.

“The recommendation was given only for some corrections in certain history and political science books from Class 6 to Class 12. However, there are no texts by Tagore or Ghalib in these books at all,” he said.

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Accusing some political parties of deliberately spreading these rumours and connecting the Nyas with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Sengupta, who is also a lawyer, said such attempts were only being made to create pandemonium and give the whole thing a political colour.

“Some political parties are in a mood to create a pandemonium on this issue and they are associating the Nyas with RSS, which is far from reality. Nyas is a welfare organisation… it has no affiliation with the RSS. This point has been clarified by the RSS as well,” he said.

The official said they had recommended to the NCERT to scrutinise a few texts from Class 11 and Class 12 political science books for the Hindi medium where the issue of Gujarat riot has been mentioned several times.

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“In a Class 11 political science book entitled ‘Rajnaitik Shiddhant’, there are numerous mentions of the death of 2,000 Muslims during the Gujarat riots. We have recommended NCERT to look into it as we felt the mention of the riot so many times in a school textbook is unnecessary and can have a deeper impact on the student’s mind,” he added.

West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress has raised strong objection in Parliament to the suggestions to drop Rabindranath Tagore from NCERT textbooks.

While CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has also vehemently opposed the suggestions, party MP Ritabrata Banerjee has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the Centre refrain from implementing them.

The HRD Ministry on Tuesday said there was no plan to remove texts by Tagore and reiterated it had not received any such proposal.

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