In a move that can cause political ruffling, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has included a chapter in class VIII social science text book on Muslims not benefiting from country’s social and economic development.
The chapter refers extensively to the Sachar Panel report on marginalisation of Muslims in India. In a bid to make students understand the social marginalisation, the new chapter “Muslims and Marginalisation” talks about how Muslims have not got proper benefit from social and economic development in the country.
To back that Muslims are deprived, the NCERT has backed its claim through data about economic and educational development of the Muslim community. According to Sachar Panel, the Muslims have the lowest enrolment rate and are least literate among different social groups in India.
“Social inequalities have been clearly mentioned so that the students can themselves understand the reality in terms of caste, religion and gender in India,” a NCERT official said.
It is apparently for the first time that a chapter on marginalisation of a particular caste or a religious group has been included in NCERT text books taught in thousands of CBSE schools in India.
NCERT, however, claims that the attempt is to make students understand that how marginalisation weakens social status and lead to deprivation of education and utilization of country’s resources.