The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday issued a circular to all 19,000 affiliated schools under it asking that a section ‘Caste Conflict and Dress Change’ be omitted from the curriculum with effect from 2017. No questions were to be asked from the same in any exam.
The said textbook is published by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and has been in use since the 2006-07 academic year.
Reports quote the NCERT director Hrushikesh Senapaty as saying that some MPs of the AIADMK and the DMK have objected to its inclusion.
The relevant section deals with the Upper Cloth revolt popularly known as the Channar Revolt that took place in early 19th century Travancore. In May 1822, the subordinate caste Shanar women (later known as the Nadars) revolted against the common practice of lower caste women leaving their upper torso uncovered.
Local custom allowed only upper caste women to do so in those days. The Shanar women chose to defy the same inspired by Christian missionaries. From 1822- 1859, a long struggle ensued that subjected them to assault by Nairs in public places on many occasions.
The government was hence forced to intervene in the matter, and in October 1859, issued an order permitting the Shanar women to wear a jacket or cover their upper bodies in any manner but unlike that of their upper caste counterparts.
The book coordinator Professor Kiran Devendra however denied any knowledge of opposition by student or parent alike to the contents of the textbook which she deemed factually correct.