This is the fourth round of revisions of NCERT textbooks since 2014. In the first round in 2017, NCERT cited nthe eed to reflect recent events. In 2018, it initiated revisions to reduce the “syllabus burden. (PTI/File)

By Ritika Chopra

The revised NCERT Class 12 Political Science textbook, which hit the market last week, does not mention the Babri Masjid by name calling it a “three-domed structure,” has pruned the Ayodhya section from four to two pages and deleted telling details from the earlier version.

These include: the BJP rath yatra from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya; the role of kar sevaks; communal violence in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992; President’s rule in BJP-ruled states; and the BJP’s expression of “regret over the happenings at Ayodhya”.

As reported by The Indian Express on April 5, the NCERT had disclosed some of the changes, including the removal of at least three references to the demolition and the primacy given to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. But the extent of the revisions was unknown until now.

The key changes:

📌 The old textbook introduces Babri Masjid as a 16th century mosque built by Mughal emperor Babur’s General Mir Baqi. Now, the chapter refers to it as “a three-dome structure (that) was built at the site of Shri Ram’s birthplace in 1528, but the structure had visible displays of Hindu symbols and relics in its interior as well as its exterior portions”.

📌 Over two pages, the old textbook described the mobilisation “on both sides” after the locks of the masjid were opened in February 1986 on the orders of the Faizabad (now Ayodhya) district court. It referred to communal tension, the rath yatra organised from Somnath to Ayodhya, the kar seva undertaken by volunteers in December 1992 to build the Ram Temple, the demolition of the mosque, and the subsequent communal violence in January 1993. It mentioned how the BJP expressed “regret over the happenings at Ayodhya” and referred to the “serious debate over secularism”.

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