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After Gandhi, references to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad removed from Class 11 NCERT textbook

By Milan Sharma: References to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India, have been removed from the Class 11 Political Science textbooks under the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). This comes amid the controversy following the removal of references to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination and what he did after Independence.

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In the textbook’s first chapter, titled ‘Constitution — Why and How’, a line has been revised to omit Maulana Azad’s name from the constituent assembly committee meetings.

The revised line now reads, “Usually, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel or BR Ambedkar chaired these Committees.”

Azad played a key role in 1946, when he led the Congress in the elections for the new Constituent Assembly of India to draft the Constitution. He had also led a delegation to negotiate with the British Cabinet Mission, in his sixth year as Congress president.

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Further, references to Jammu and Kashmir’s conditional accession have also been deleted from the same textbook. In the book’s tenth chapter, titled ‘The Philosophy of the Constitution’, a sentence has been deleted.

The now-deleted line read, “For example, the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian union was based on a commitment to safeguarding its autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution.”

Article 370 was abrogated by the Central government in August 2019, ending Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomous status.

Two months later, in October 2019, the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two Union Territories.

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