Bhopal, July 5 : Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has strongly objected to the “Godhra riots” chapter in the political science book of NCERT which is being taught to the students of Class 12 and sought correction that specifically mentions that the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee advised Narendra Modi to “follow the Raj Dharma” .
Shivraj Singh government has written a letter to the union human resource development (HRD) ministry, and asked that ‘correction’ must be made in a chapter titled ‘Politics of Independent India’ of political science book of NCERT which is being taught to students in the Class 12.
The chapter describes “the BJP as a party which promotes the agenda of Hindutva. The chapter entioned 2002 Godhra riots including the violence after the Godhra train burning incident that left 1,100 people dead, and the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous advice to the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government “follow the Raj Dharma”.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training terms BJP a party with ‘Hindutva agenda’.A section in the revised textbook for class XII, Politics in Independent India claims that Bharatiya Janata Party began propagating the Hindutva agenda in 1980 after the Jan Sangh disintegrated and was repackaged as the BJP.
The opposition Congress said the BJP should “accept the truth”.
“BJP should accept the truth regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi as mentioned in the chapter… Vajpayee had asked then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi to follow Raj Dharma,” state Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said.
“The BJP may get the chapter dropped, but it cannot erase people’s perception of it being communal,” he said.
The letter dated June 1, 2002, reveals Vajpayee’s concern for the fragile communal situation in Gujarat and reflects his doubts over whether the interests of the riot -hit were being properly looked after . The letter was sent three months after the Godhra incident and the post-Godhra riots . Vajpayee advised Modi that as chief minister he must adhere to the ” Raj Dharma and not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed or religion.”
“We sent a letter to the HRD ministry and NCERT on Wednesday, asking them to correct the controversial chapter,” state school education minister Dipak Joshi said.
Joshi argued that the way the chapter describes the Godhra incident and its aftermath is totally wrong. Narendra Modi won a state election soon after the Godhra carnage.The chapter mentions that violence after the Godhra train burning incident left 1,100 people dead, and Vajpayee asked the Gujarat government to follow “Raj Dharma”.
“Many controversial things were incorporated in NCERT books during the previous UPA regime,” state BJP chief spokesman Dipak Vijaywargiya said.
“When we noticed them, we had informed the authorities concerned, seeking their deletion. Some controversial content was scrapped. Now some more such thing have come to our notice,” he said.