Among NCERT Textbook Deletions, 1980s Rallies of Bharatiya Kisan Union

The Tribune has reported that BKU, which was on the forefront of the recent farmers' protests against three Union laws, has resolved to meet government representatives on this issue.

New Delhi: Among deletions in National Council of Educational Research and Training textbooks that have been making news in the recent past are also mentions of the popular farmers’ movement under the Bharatiya Kisan Union, The Tribune has reported.

The BKU was founded in the late 1980s by stalwart farmers’ leaders Mahendra Singh Tikait, Chaudhary Charan Singh, M. D. Nanjundaswamy, Narayanswamy Naidu and Bhupinder Singh Mann.

The movement had earlier found mention in a chapter titled ‘Rise of Popular Movements’ in a class 12 political science textbook. “The BKU was one of the leading organisations in the farmers’ movement of the eighties,” says the portion which is now deleted.

“Throughout the decade of eighties, the BKU organised massive rallies of these farmers in many district headquarters of the State and also at the national capital,” another excerpt says.

The paper reported that BKU has resolved to meet Union government representatives on this issue.

The BKU, currently headed by Mahendra Tikait’s son Rakesh, had been one of the organisations on the forefront of the historic farmers’ protests against the three Central laws. In 2021, the laws were rolled back.

Among other key deletions in NCERT textbooks, reportedly at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government, are mentions of the Mughal empire, the fact that the RSS had been banned and that Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated for having pushed for Hindu-Muslim unity.

Purportedly meant to rationalise reading material in the aftermath of COVID-driven school closures, these deletions have been called “politically motivated” and vaguely explained by experts.