Kolkata: The School Education Syllabus Committee of the West Bengal government which has been assigned to update the syllabus and lessen the burden of unnecessary topics on students has recommended to abolish Marx and Engels and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in the textbooks. 

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Following the recommendations, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels- founders of Marxism- may cease to exist in the syllabus of the school students in West Bengal. 

The fresh move of Mamata Banerjee led state government has invited wrath of the left parties which ruled the state for 34 years before being ousted from power in the state in May 2011.
Decrying the move of the government, the opposition, left parties, termed it as "wrong and controversial" and an attempt to write history.

But the ruling Trinamool Congress defended the move, claiming the attempt is to "correct the imbalance" which was there is history textbooks in the state schools.

Trinamool MP Dereck O"Brien also made it clear that the government was not trying to doctor history.

"Marx, I believe should be studied as a historical phenomenon but not at the expense of the Mahatma, and not at the expense of Mandela," he said, adding "Bengal is redressing balance, not doctoring history."

"History doesn't begin with the Bolsheviks and end with Basus and Bhattacharyas. History preceded them and will survive them," he added.
The committee head Avik Majumdar is reported to have said that History syllabus in Bengal gave importance to a particular ideology and that an attempt is being made to give it a balanced approach.

Majumdar further said if there was any excess of anything, including Marx, it has to be done away with.

"I fail to understand why such a historic event and great masters of history will be excluded in the curriculum.

This is not desirable and is unnecessary and unfortunate," a veteran Marxist and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said.

CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta called the move atrocious.

The history textbooks of Class XI and class XII discuss the Industrial Revolution and refer to Karl Marx and his contributions in that context.

The final draft of the new syllabus is expected to be submitted to the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education next week.