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National anthem issue: Kerala CM apologises
September 17, 2004 19:14 IST
Last Updated: September 17, 2004 21:37 IST
Seeking to set at rest the controversy over the deletion of the name of Gujarat from the national anthem in some textbooks in Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday apologised for the lapse.
"The mistake in some of the text books was unfortunate. I am offering my apology on behalf of the government if anyone's feelings are hurt with the inadvertent error," Chandy told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
New text books had been printed, a copy of which had been sent to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Chandy said he had faxed the details of corrections made in the textbooks to Modi last night and would be speaking to Modi over phone later today.
He said it was unfortunate that a false campaign about the state was going on in Delhi and Ahmedabad for the 'admitted error' even after corrections were issued.
The chief minister said Kerala had always been in the forefront of upholding nationalist ideals. Even during the anti-Hindi agitation in the south, the state had stood by nationalist sentiments.
It was unfortunate that a printing error was turned into a controversy, he said.
Education Minister E T Mohammed Basheer, who was also present, said the 'correction erratum' would be sent to all schools where copies of textbooks with the mistake had been distributed.
The official, who had already retired, had apologised for the mistake and requested for sympathy and compassion.
Rejecting BJP's allegation that the error was part of a 'calculated manipulation', he said a controversy over the issue was unfortunate.
Basheer said it was true that the official responsible, Sankaran Namboodiri had 'overlooked' the proof before printing English medium mathematics textbooks in the ninth standard. The official had explained that the error had escaped his notice.
"It was a costly omission on my part. Words are not adequate to express my regret," he had written to the
Meanwhile, BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai, who announced a `protest day' on September 20 on the issue, said more mistakes were found in the anthem in some textbooks.
Mistakes had also been found in the 'pledges' for school assemblies in some textbooks in the state.
He alleged the representative of the Indian Union Muslim League, holding the Education portfolio, was trying to distort nationalist ideals with these 'deliberate' attempts.
More reports from Kerala