ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Politics and Pedagogy

The NCERT Texts and Cartoons

School texts that teach young minds that politics is a contentious and critical but reasonable activity, that it is not merely a set of demands and commands, and that politicians have to be responsive and accountable are naturally disliked by the political class. This is the tone of all the Political Science textbooks of Standards IX-XI brought out after 2006. The nurturing of a culture of critical public opinion seems threatening to the wielders of authority. Hence, the call to sanitise the entire range of texts.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Political Science textbook cartoon controversy has acquired a life of its own. What started with charges of insulting Babasaheb Ambedkar snowballed into complaints of insulting national heroes, and in its latest version, as demeaning the political class of the country as a whole. This shift of the alleged target does not seem to be innocent, even as, a lot of muck is thrown at two of the country’s finest political scientists and lower rung officials of the NCERT.

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