We all know about legendary writers O’Henry and Oscar Wilde, right? These literary luminaries are considered the greatest story and play writers in history. Guess who else NCERT thinks is giving tough competition to such legends in the field of storytelling? The Delhi riots-accused Harsh Mander, who is currently being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate. That’s right. Between the likes of O’Henry and Oscar Wilde, NCERT now wants class 9 students in India to learn sob story of Harsh Mander called ‘Weathering the Storm in Ersama’.
The question you might now be having is most probably this: Why is Harsh Mander being investigated by the ED? You see, Mander is accused of money laundering and financial misappropriation via child-shelters run by him and his NGOs.
NCPCR Warns NCERT
The Chairman of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Priyank Kanoongo is infuriated. As a result, he has shot off a letter to the NCERT asking the council to explain its position on why a story of an alleged criminal has been included in the syllabus of ninth standard students.
In his letter to NCERT, Kanoongo said, “Upon receiving the complaint, the content of the story has been examined and it has been found that the story contains text that is beyond the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 which is the primary law for children in the country and is hence, outdated as it negates the different provisions of the Act.”
Exposing far-left agenda of Harsh Mander, which seems to have impressed NCERT, the NCPCR chairman said, “Also, the narrative of the story is built in a way to suggest that the rescue and welfare work are only carried out by the non-government organisations and undermines the country’s mechanism, including disaster management agencies and other authorities.”
Laying out a deadline for NCERT, Kanoongo added, “Therefore, the matter is being forwarded to you for your comments and to take appropriate action in this regard. It is also requested that the NCERT may also ensure that no such misguiding account is reflected in other stories/chapters in the books. You may apprise the Commission about the action taken within seven (07) days of issuance of this letter.”
Furthermore, the NCPCR thinks story of Harsh Mander violates Indian laws, and that the NCERT is not diligent enough to obey the law of the land. NCPCR accused the National Council of Educational Research Training of revising books “without referring to the law of the land and without being sensitive to the issue of child protection.”
Harsh Mander’s Diverse Portfolio
Harsh Mander is facing charges for having instigated violent mobs in the runup to the anti-Hindu Delhi riots of 2020. He has also been named in the Delhi Police’s chargesheet for making hate speeches prior to the riots.
Separately, the man is being investigated by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Interestingly, the ED’s raids and the case against Mander had also stemmed from an FIR filed against him by the NCPCR, in which the commission accused the ‘activist’ of irregularities in two children’s homes linked to him.
As for the NCERT, it has a lot to answer. NCERT continues to be plagued by pre-2014, leftist elements that do not have the best interests of India at heart. They continue to propagate a toxic ideology and cater to the needs of a select breed of the Indian elite. However, brave institutions like the NCPCR, led by Priyank Kanoongo are firmly standing up to such elements and ensuring that their devious plans are foiled.