Another day, another controversy. An NCERT text book is once again at the centre of a Twitter controversy, with netizens questioning the somewhat unfortunate choice of words in a Hindi poem. The excerpt in question appears to be from a Class 1 Hindi text book featuring a short poem titled 'Aam ki tokri'.
Now, there are many reasons to flag this poem. While some on Twitter are busy critiquing the allegedly crude vocabulary, others see this is a normalisation of child labour. It is also somewhat unclear as to what message the poem is trying to deliver as a whole through its short two line rhyming stanzas. Interestingly, even as many launch a scathing attack against NCERT and the unknown poet, others are busy attacking their fellow netizens for their 'warped mindset'.
This however is not the first time that Twitter has been furious at NCERT and their textbooks. In January 2021, for example, an NCERT history textbook for Class 12 had fuelled both online and offline fury after it suggested that Mughal rulers had helped build and maintain temples.
The cited the reigns of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb to say that even when temples were destroyed during wars, "grants were later issued for their repair". And while this was enough to aggravate many, NCERT's inability to answer an RTI query about the source of this information had caused an all-out tweet war and even bouts of 'NCERT book burning'. The latter was proudly shared online by the arsonists.