New Delhi: After the government proposed to explore ways of immortalising former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s contributions and achievements, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) introduced a poem by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in a Class 8 textbook.

The former Prime Minister’s poem “Kadam Milakar Chalna Hoga (We Have To Walk Together)” will be now a part of the Hindi textbook, Vasant. The poem is an address to countrymen to walk together, irrespective of difficulties, for a better tomorrow. 

After the death of Vajpayee, the Centre and BJP governments in various states memorialised him by naming schemes after him. As part of this plan, the HRD Ministry had asked NCERT to include former Prime Minister's contributions and achievements in the textbook. Earlier, Vajpayee was only mentioned in the Class 12 Political Science textbook. 

The textbook Vasant will also carry essays, poems and short stories by renowned writers such as Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’, Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Harishankar Parsai and Ismat Chughtai. 

This is the second textbook review undertaken under by the government. In the first exercise in 2017, the NCERT made over 1,334 changes, which included many corrections and updates of data in 182 textbooks. 

According to reports, the second revision is aimed to reduce the burden on students. Vajpayee’s poem was also introduced as part of this exercise. The revised textbook will reach the shelves in March before the new session begins. It’s also not clear whether any existing content has been excluded to accommodate the new poem.