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CBSE Does Not Publish History Textbooks, Says Board on ‘Casteist’ Varna System Image in Class 6 Books

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After an image of a class 6 textbook taught by CBSE-affiliated schools had gone viral for depicting Varna System or caste system, the Board has issued a clarification stating that it is not CBSE’s responsibility to publish textbooks.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) alliance party Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol. Thirumavalavan first posted an image of the class 6 CBSE text book stating, “I brought it up to draw the attention of individuals who might be wondering where Manu Dharma or Varnashrama Dharma is”, the VCK leader wrote in a tweet.

Slamming the government for teaching children about catses, he also said that Hindus come in only four different subgroups. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC&ST) groups are not included in these four categories.

Soon after the matter caught fire and several political parties started to comment on the issue. KamalHaasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam raises objections against a chapter on ‘Varna system’ that allegedly finds place. The party urges the central Govt and CBSE to ensure that the lessons on the caste system be removed from textbooks.

In one of the tweets on the issue, CBSE replied saying, “The class 6 History textbook containing topics on Varnas has been wrongly attributed as published by CBSE. This is factually incorrect. It is clarified that CBSE does not publish History textbooks, thus the matter does not relate to CBSE.”

A page of the class 6 textbook regarded as ‘castist’ shows a human pyramid where it ranks Brahmins at the top followed by Kshatriyas followed by Vaishyas and Shudras. Ranking of human-like figures in the pyramid based on caste, as well as change in costumes had drawn flak from not just politicians but also people from all walks of life. As per the image of the viral text, the book has been published by XSEED Education, a private publishing house based out of Singapore.

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