On Thursday, the Madras High Court asked CBSE to remove objectionable content on the Nadar community from class IX social science textbooks. It directed the Board to pass the required orders within three months, while disposing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Advocates Forum for Social Justice.
According to the forum, 'Indian Colony Athikkam' (Transformation and Colonial India) - a chapter from the textbook - contained wrong information. It stated that during British rule, South Travancore was known as Kumari district, its natives were known as Naikers and that the Nadar community had come and settled there to make a livelihood. They further alleged that the historical representation of the book was incorrect and some of the contents 'degraded' the entire Nadar community. On, 14 September, the forum issued a notice asking CBSE authorities to rectify the mistakes in the book.
The PIL stated that the textbook, published by NCERT (National Council for Educational Research and Training), contained wrong information "in respect of evaluating the history of the Nadar community". It further stated that the Nadar community hails from an ancient period in Kanyakumari district, which was the then Travancore Samasthanam. The petitioner submitted that Nadars had also held important portfolios in that administration. Many in the community had participated in the freedom struggle, undergone much suffering and sacrificed their lives for the nation's independence, the forum added, reported PTI.
In its response, the CBSE stated that NCERT had constituted a committee to review the textbook, and directed the forum to approach the NCERT, which was overturned by the court.
With PTI Inputs