Monday, June 19, 2006


1. India's Government Strikes Mention of Beef Eaters From New History Books on Ancient India

NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 12, 2006: (HPI note: The irony of this NCERT action is that the previous BJP government met with vigorous opposition from the now ruling Congress party and allies when it attempted to make the same change, considered an affront to Hinduism, in the text books.)

References to ancient India's beef-eaters have been done away with in NCERT's newly-introduced history textbooks. NCERT, National Council of Educational Research and Training, is the national commission responsible for the textbooks in India's schools. NCERT changed the syllabus for Classes I, III, VI, IX and XI from this year in accordance with the national curriculum framework (NCF) 2005, to prescribe broad guidelines for an ideal course curriculum. Till last year, Class VI and XI textbooks had references to beef-eating habits. "These references were there in ancient Indian history books for Classes VI and IX till last year. Those textbooks have been replaced and the new ones have no mention of beef-eating," NCERT spokesman Ashish Bahad said. The reference had raised objections from several quarters last year and a Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Supreme Court. NCERT had also formed a three-member expert committee to look into the matter. "Following the NCF 2005, NCERT developed new history textbooks that attempt to arouse the curiosity of schoolchildren. The books encourage students to find out historical facts on their own," Bahad added.


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