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Not Ramayana or Mahabharata, NCERT should include the Quran in textbooks because there is no greater book: Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq

In reply to media query, Barq said, "There is no greater book in the world than the Quran. It is not written by us or the people of the country but the book is written by Allah. It should be included in NCERT."

While speaking about possible changes in school textbooks, Samajwadi Party MP from Sambhal, Shafiqur Rahman Barq has raised the demand to include the Quran in the NCERT books. He, however, opposed the purported inclusion of Ramayan and Mahabharata in textbooks. 

The Samajwadi Party MP argued that there is no greater book than the ‘Quran Sharif’ in the world and hence the Quran should be included in the NCERT syllabus.

Notably, the media persons asked Sambhal MP Barq about the possible inclusion of chapters of Mahabharata and Ramayana in NCERT textbooks. He replied by saying that if NCERT includes religious books in curriculum, it should be the Quran, not Ramayana or Mahabharata because there is no bigger book than the Quran. Barq said, “There is no greater book in the world than the Quran. It is not written by us or the people of the country but the book is written by Allah. It should be included in NCERT.” 

(SP MP Shafiqur Rehman Barq demands inclusion of the Quran in NCERT syllabus, Video Courtesy- India TV)

It is important to note that a seven-member committee of NCERT was constituted last year to supervise the revision of school textbooks. The NCERT is revising the school curriculum in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. Initially, there were extensive reports, with media houses claiming that a high-level committee constituted by NCERT and chaired by CI Issac’ had recommended the inclusion of epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata in social sciences textbooks. 

However, when the reports went viral, NCERT, on 22nd November refuted claims that said Ramayana and Mahabharata would be included in the school syllabus as part of history. As per reports, NCERT denied the claims, stressing that there is no such panel and that “whatever Isaac is saying is in his personal capacity.”

As per media reports, the NCERT has not taken a call on the recommendations yet but the new NCERT textbooks are likely to be ready by the next academic session.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time that SP MP Shafiqur Rehman Barq has made headlines for his remarks and demands. He recently expressed displeasure when the UP government imposed a ban on Halal-certified products. He alleged that the government’s decisions are full of hatred and all the decisions are anti-Muslim. 

Previously in October this year, in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, Barq stressed that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation. He also stated that the Palestinian terror group should be supported claiming that they are ‘fighting for their rights’

The Samajwadi Party MP has also made communal statements over several issues in the past. In September, Rahman demanded that there should be space to offer Namaz in the new Parliament building.

In February this year, he asserted that India has never been and would never be a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and claimed that Islam is the only true religion.

In October 2022, Shafiqur Rahman Barq went on a misogynistic rant and claimed that allowing women to walk without a burqa in public would only enhance wildness and promiscuity in men. He had also asserted that chanting Vande Mataram was against the tenets of Islam.

The Samajwadi Party leader was earlier booked for hailing the Taliban and comparing the radical Islamist outfit to Indian freedom fighters. He was also booked in connection to violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh.

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