Cautioning that objectionable passages about national leaders and communities should not be communicated to school students, the Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) not to frame questions on such passages from the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books in this year’s board examination.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice MK Sharma said, “Young students should not be taught lessons containing objectionable passages about our leaders and communities. The aim of education is to impart education to young pupils so that they all can live peacefully.”
The order came on a petition filed by the NCERT seeking clarification in its earlier order directing NCERT to issue directions to CBSE not to select questions from the objectionable passages.
Earlier, the NCERT had informed the High Court that it would remove 20 objectionable passages, which included some references to Sikh religious leader Guru Govind Singh, Aryabhatt and Mughal Emperor Akbar and branding Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bankim Chandra and Lala Lajpat Rai as militants from its textbooks in 2007-2008.
A committee of experts was constituted following the HC’s direction which had suggested that NCERT should remove the offending portions from the text-books. The Delhi HC said the leaders and freedom fighters should not be shown in a derogatory light in the NCERT school text books.
The bench said the NCERT and CBSE should prepare a curriculum which should not pass derogatory remarks on any freedom fighter or any community. In an application, the NCERT had appealed to the HC to withdraw its directives not to set questions in schools board examinations on certain objectionable paragraphs in the Indian History books.
The Arya Mahasabha and Brahman Samaj, in a petition, had sought the direction of the court for deletion of 75 objectionable items from the History book saying it had bad impact on the young students.
Some of the items stated that the Aryans, including the ‘Brahmins,’ were beef-eaters in the ancient days. “Cows are worshipped by the Aryans and Hindus since the Vedic period and nobody should be allowed to distort the facts,” said the Arya Mahasabha.