The one-man committee of former education secretary B S Baswan, which submitted its report to the HRD Ministry, has said due process and procedure was followed in the vetting of content.
The report noted that NCERT textbooks are a result of a collective exercise involving several rounds of vetting by the textbook development committee, the focus groups and the monitoring committee. It added that it is difficult to fix individual responsibility for any alleged lapse.
The Baswan committee was set up by the HRD Ministry following an uproar in Parliament in May over certain “offensive” cartoons in NCERT textbooks. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had then announced the constitution of two committees — one to review the textbooks for inappropriate content and cartoons and another to probe which NCERT officials were responsible for the “lapses”.
The Baswan committee report along with the NCERT textbook development committee report submitted earlier this month which recommended removal of no more than three-four cartoons mark a big shift from the position of the Thorat committee. The six-member panel headed by ICSSR chairman S K Thorat recommended removal of over 20 cartoons and many caption changes.
One of the founders of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Maududi, was a leading campaigner for Partition. In recent years, the organisation has tried to distance itself from him. During Emergency, both the RSS and the Jamaat were banned. In 2010, the organisation formed the Welfare Party.
K S Sudarshan
Kuppalli Sitaramayya Sudarshan was the RSS chief from 2000 till 2009, when he stepped down, citing ill health. A well-known Swadeshi ideologue, he was a Pracharak for 60 years, and the RSS’s first South Indian Sarsanghachalak.