The text books by National Council of Educational Research And Training (NCERT) for class XII will now no longer describe 2002 Gujarat riots as ‘anti-Muslim riots’. The course review committee took this decision in a meeting which included representatives of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the NCERT. The change will be made in textbooks which were published in 2007 during the Congress-led UPA government’s tenure.

According to the reports published by the Hindustan Times, ‘the NCERT is carrying out a review to ensure that all the latest developments are included in the textbooks and has described this move as a regular exercise to keep the textbooks updated.

A senior NCERT official said, ‘there were few points raised by CBSE and they have already been taken up by NCERT. Changes will be made and it will be reflected once the book is reprinted by the end of the year.’

In the textbook of Class XII’s political science, a chapter titled “Politics in India since Independence” has a passage under the heading “Anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat” which reads ‘iIn February-March 2002, large-scale violence against Muslims took place in Gujarat. A bogey of a train that was returning from Ayodhya and was full of karsevaks was set on fire. Suspecting the hands of Muslims in setting fire to the bogey, large-scale violence against Muslims began in many parts of Gujarat.’

Nearly 800 Muslims and more than 250 Hindus were killed in riot which broke in February-March, 2002. The violence took place when 57 Hindu pilgrims were burnt alive in a train compartment at a station in Godhra.

Gujarat riots are considered as one of the worst communal riots in the country since Independence.