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NCERT Deletes Texts on Gandhi, Godse, RSS; Congress Terms it ‘Whitewashing’

The new class 12 history and political science textbooks don’t contain paras on the right wing’s criticism of Gandhi’s Hindu-Muslim stance.
NCERT Deletes Texts on Gandhi, Godse, RSS; Congress Terms it ‘Whitewashing’

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Flickr

The Congress has termed the deletion of certain texts on the right wing’s criticism of Mahatma Gandhi for his advocation of Hindu-Muslim unity, the reference to his assassin Nathuram Godse as “a Brahmin from Pune” and the short RSS from NCERT’s new class 12 history and political science textbooks as “whitewashing with a vengeance”.

Tagging an exclusive report published by The Indian Express on deleting these texts from NCERT class 12 books, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeted on Wednesday: “Whitewashing with a vengeance.”


Tagging another report which claimed that chapters on the Mughals and Dalit writers have also been axed from NCERT textbooks, Ramesh tweeted: “This reveals the ruling regime’s TRUE mindset. After all, the RSS had not only attacked Gandhi but had been bitterly opposed to Dr Ambedkar as well.”

Other Congress leaders also criticised the move. “The BJP govt has deleted from NCERT textbooks, references to Hindus extremists’ dislike of Mahatma Gandhi & the banning of RSS after his assassination. No matter how badly the BJP wants to erase it, History can never be forgotten. RSS can never be whitewashed!” tweeted AICC national spokesperson Shama Mohamed.

Former Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik tweeted: “The Modi government’s intent and actions are smeared with the color (sic) of anti-Gandhism. They may dislike Gandhi and purge him from NCERT books, but Mahatma will always be the apostle of truth and non-violence.”

Several pieces of texts, especially on Gandhi, the reference to Godse and “the editor of an extremist Hindu newspaper who had denounced Gandhiji as ‘an appeaser of Muslims’” are missing from the new books, The Indian Express reported.

  • He (Gandhi) was particularly disliked by those who wanted Hindus to take revenge or who wanted India to become a country for the Hindus, just as Pakistan was for Muslims…

  • His steadfast pursuit of Hindu-Muslim unity provoked Hindu extremists so much that they made several attempts to assassinate Gandhiji…



The reference to the RSS ban following Gandhi’s assassination was removed as well.

The deleted sentences read: “Gandhiji’s death had an almost magical effect on the communal situation in the country. Partition-related anger and violence suddenly subsided. The Government of India cracked down on organisations that were spreading communal hatred. Organisations like the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh were banned for some time. Communal politics began to lose its appeal.”

The history textbook Themes In Indian History Part III drops the “Brahmin” reference to Godse. The revised paragraph reads: “At his daily prayer meeting on the evening of 30 January, Gandhiji was shot dead by a young man. The assassin, who surrendered afterwards, was Nathuram Godse.”

Earlier, the chapter titled “Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement” read: “At his daily prayer meeting on the evening of 30 January, Gandhiji was shot dead by a young man. The assassin, who surrendered afterwards, was a Brahmin from Pune named Nathuram Godse, the editor of an extremist Hindu newspaper who had denounced Gandhiji as ‘an appeaser of Muslims’.”

NCERT director Dinesh Saklani, however, denied any deletion. “There is nothing new. Rationalisation happened last year. We have not done anything new this time,” he told The Indian Express.

Saklani’s colleague AP Behera, who heads the NCERT’s Central Institute of Educational Technology, said, “It is possible some bits may have been left out of the table due to oversight but no new changes have been made this year. This all happened last year.”

Another NCERT official told PTI that the “subject expert panel had recommended dropping texts on Gandhi. It was accepted only last year. It was not mentioned in the list of rationalised content due to oversight. Any missing contents in the list will be notified in a day or two”.

According to the NCERT website: “The present edition is a reformatted version after carrying out the changes. The present textbooks are rationalised textbooks. These were rationalised for the 2022-23 session and will continue in 2023-24.”

The move triggered criticism on Twitter with Rajya Sabha member and former Congress leader Kapil Sibal tweeting:

NCERT textbooks:


1) Gandhi’s pursuit of Hindu Muslim unity

2) Banning of RSS

3) All references to Gujarat riots

4) Protests that turned into social movements in contemporary India

Consistent with Modiji’s Bharat modern Indian history should start from 2014… !”

Replying to Sibal, Union minister Shobha Karandlaje defended the decision and said that the “BJP is only correcting your [Congress] wrongdoings” and accused it of being the “biggest manipulator of India’s historical facts”.

CONgress was the biggest manipulator of India’s historical facts!

Facts that threatened


&never made it to text books were.

-Barbarism of Mughals

- Era of Emergency

- Genocide of Kashmir Pandit’s&Sikhs

- Corruption of Congress

BJP is only correcting your wrong doings,” she tweeted.

Journalists Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Rajdeep Sardesai also pointed out the deletions.

Purged from NCERT textbooks: Hindu extremists’ dislike for Gandhi, RSS ban after assassination…


@IndianExpress,” Thakurta tweeted.

Sardesai said, “I hope one day they don’t say Godse is a hero!” 

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