The controversy over Paash’s poem in NCERT book




CBSE/ACAD/HINDI/2007                                                                                                8th March,2007

                                                                                                                        Circular No.14


All Heads of Institutions

Affiliated to CBSE.


                        Subject : Deletions in Antraa Part-1 for Hindi Elective-Class XI

                                                and  Aaroh Part-1 for Hindi Core Class XI.


Dear Principal,


The Review Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. Yash Pal the NCERT’s new texts of Hindi language in the backdrop of objections received from various quarters.  It is in this context the following may be considered as deleted and must not be taught or tested :


Antara Part-1 – Hindi Elective – Class XI


1.                   Apni Khabar by Pandeya Bechan Sharma `Ugra’

2.                   Mochiram by Dhoomil


Aaroh Part – 1 – Hindi Core – Class XI


1.                   Doodh Ka Daam by Premchand

2.                   The introduction part to the poem `Sabse Khatarnak’ by Avtaar Singh Paash


All schools who are teaching Hindi are advised not to use these deleted pieces of writing for setting of questions in the examinations.  Teachers may be instructed accordingly.


Yours sincerely






Copy to :

1.                   The Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, 18, Institutional Area, Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg, New Delhi-110016.

2.                   The Commissioner, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, A-28, Kailash Colony, New Delhi.

3.                   The Director of Education, Directorate of Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, Old Secretariat, Delhi-110054.

4.                   The Director of Public Instructions (Schools), Union Territory Secretariat, Sector-9, Chandigarh-160017.

5.                   The Director of Education, Govt. of Sikkim, Gangtok, Sikkim-737101.

6.                   The Director of School Education, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar-791111.

7.                   The Director of Education, Govt. of A & N Islands, Port Blair-744101.

8.                   The Secretary, Central Tibetan School Administration, Sector 5, Rohini, Delhi-110085.

9.                   All the Regional Officers of CBSE.







An article by Dr Chaman Lal (Professor, Centre of Indian Languages, JNU, India)

An article from South Asia Post dated 31.08.2006 (History writing and cultural fascism -by Dr Chaman Lal)



It would be an understatement to say that we were greatly shocked to hear a suggestion that the Punjabi poet Avatar Singh Pash, whose popularity transgresses the boundaries of1anguages should not be included in the textbooks as he happened to be a supporter of the Naxal politics, Is it not ironical that he is being condemned as anti national for his pro-Naxal views and thus unsuitable for any kind of official national recognition, the man who was killed by the separatists militants of the Khalistani movement for having dared to propagate the ideology of unity of all masses? To dub him an anti- Indian from whom our children should be kept away is his double murder. That it should happen in a House which owes its life to the blood of martyrs like Pash make us hang our heads in shame.



         IN a highly convoluted debate held in Rajya Sabha on August 18, 2006, a number of BJP members raised objections to the new NCERT textbooks. As is their wont, the BJP members distorted the content of the books and by quoting several passages out of context tried to create an impression that the books were using castiest language. Intervening during the course of the discussion, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury asked for an examination of the truth or otherwise of the issues raised by the BJP members and seek a response from the government.


A number of eminent litterateurs including Ashok Vajpayee, Rajinder Yadav, Namvar Singh, Kamleshwar, Krishna Sobti, Kunwar Narain, Nandkishore Acharaya and Kamla Prasad, nailed down the distortions by the BJP MPs in the Rajya Sabha debate. In a statement issued on August 20, they have said the objections raised by BJP members are meaningless. They have pointed out that while objecting to the inclusion of the popular poet Avatar Singh Pash’s poem they seem to have forgotten that Pash was killed by religious extremists in Punjab for his views. According to them to demand the exclusion of poet Dhumil’s poem Mochi Ram is to forget that Dhumil is one of the foremost poets of the modern Hindi literature. Similarly to demand for the exclusion of Dalit writer Om Prakash Valmiki’s writing from the textbooks is akin to keeping the Dalit voice out from literature. Valmiki’s writing is a reflection of Dalit self-expression which has found a place in literature after a bitter struggle.



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