2002 Gujarat violence
2002 Gujarat violenceReuters

The latest edition of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) political science textbook for Class 12 have renamed the 2002 Gujarat violence as "Gujarat riots". The earlier version used to call it "anti-Muslim riots".

The changes have been made in the sub-head of a chapter in the textbook on "Politics in India since Independence".

Besides changing the heading of the passage from "Anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat" to just "Gujarat riots", other changes have also been made in the description of the Gujarat riots.

The first sentence of the paragraph has also dropped out the words "against Muslims". While the previous version of the sentence read, "In February-March 2002, large-scale violence against Muslims took place in Gujarat", the latest version now reads as "In February-March 2002, large-scale violence took place in Gujarat".

The paragraph on Gujrat riots is on page 187 of the updated textbook.

2002 Gujarat violence
2002 Gujarat violenceReuters

The NCERT officials said that the above changes were made as the word anti-Muslim doesn't exist in the approved syllabus, which is used for preparing the textbooks.

Hence a proposal was made in June 2017, to make the required changes.

"The syllabus clearly uses the word Gujarat riots. However, the textbook had included the word "Anti-Muslim'. When we started the work on updating the books we were informed about it and we have reverted to "Gujarat riots," senior NCERT official, who chose to remain anonymous told Hindustan Times.

The passage on Gujarat riots gives a chronology of the events, like the attack on the compartment full of karsevaks, the violence against Muslims and the failure of the Gujarat government to control the crisis in their state.

However, the casualties in the riots stated in the book is different from the figures quoted by the government.

"A bogey of a train that was returning from Ayodhya and was full of Karsevaks was set on fire. Fifty-seven people died in that fire. Suspecting the hand of the Muslims in setting fire to the bogey, large-scale violence against Muslims began in many parts of Gujarat from the next day. This violence continued for almost a whole month. Nearly 1,100 persons, mostly Muslims, were killed in this violence," reads the paragraph.

2002 Gujarat riots
2002 Gujarat riots.Reuters

According to the government, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed, 223 were reported missing and 2,500 injured in the 2002 Gujarat riots, reported The Indian Express.

The first edition of Class 12 political science textbook was printed in 2007, when the UPA government was in power. This is the first time that the NCERT has revised the book.