NCERT responds to text-book row

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 May 2017 09:02:09

Staff Reporter,

On second request of Hemant Kumar, Spokesperson, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), we are herewith publishing the operative portion of ‘rejoinder’ sent by NCERT to ‘The Hitavada’ regarding the news reports on content in Political Science textbooks published by NCERT for Class X and Class XII:

“Dear Sir,

This is with reference to an article titled “NCERT needs slain Maoist to explain democracy to Class X students!” published in your newspaper (dated 3rd May 2017, Nagpur City Line edition)...

This news item is related to the content given on page 76 of the NCERT Class X Political Science textbook ‘Democratic Politics-II’ in the Chapter 6. This Chapter discusses the role of political parties in the rise of democracy, formation of Constitutional designs and working of governments. On page 76, matter under the heading “A moral force in politics?”  contains content in the form of an imaginary conversation. In this, four women leading very powerful people’s movements in different parts of the country  discuss about ideas of Kishenji regarding the role of political organisations.

According to him, a fundamental social transformation, or basic change in any aspect of life of the people, is possible only through political organizations. The inspiration behind this narrative on page 76 was Shri Kishen Patnaik (1930-2004), who was elected as a Member of Parliament from Sambalpur, Odisha in 1962. He passed away in 2004.

This textbook was published in March 2007, wherein it was mentioned that “Kishenji is no more.” No change has been made on this page since then. The Naxalite leader Kishenji was killed in 2011. It is obvious that the book published in 2007 could not have referred to the Naxal leader as dead, who was actually killed in 2011. It appears that the use of name Kishenji might have created misunderstanding.”

It must be stated here once again that the NCERT book does not say anywhere that the ‘Kishenji’ in its pages has a second name ‘Patnaik’, and that he was a Member of Parliament. ‘The Hitavada’ does not understand why the NCERT should be shy of using ‘Kishenji’ as a Patnaik!