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All political cartoons off NCERT schoolbooks

Last updated on: May 14, 2012 11:57 IST

All political cartoons off NCERT schoolbooks

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Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that all political cartoons and objectionable content will be removed from textbooks.

He said that if necessary books containing objectionable material will not be prescribed as textbooks anymore.

A cartoon on BR Ambedkar in a NCERT textbook rocked Parliament on Friday, forcing HRD minister Kapil Sibal to apologise to the nation and order the removal of the "objectionable" caricature.

The issue of controversial cartoons in textbooks generated heat in the Lok Sabha with members demanding immediate action in the matter saying the sketch had hurt sentiments of a section of the society.

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The cartoon in NCERT Class XI political science textbooks, depicts Jawaharlal Nehru with a whip in his hand chasing Ambedkar, seated on a snail, urging him to speed up work on the Constitution.

Raising the issue during Question Hour, Harsimrat Kaur (SAD) and Shailendra Kumar (SP) demanded that the CBSE textbooks carrying the cartoons should be removed immediately.

They were joined by Congress members, including Sanjay Nirupam and Lal Singh, who demanded a clarification from Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal. Sibal was not present in the House.

Shailendra Kumar walked to the Chair and submitted some papers depicting objectionable cartoons. As he raised the issue from the Well, the Chair asked him to return to his seat.

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Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal clarified the government position saying, "Even before the matter came up before the House, the minister had noticed it and directed that the cartoons be removed from the books."

When this did not pacify the members, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, "All objectionable material in textbooks and, if necessary, the books will be removed."

Mukherjee assured the House that such books will not be prescribed and the entire publication will be withdrawn. He said the HRD Minister or he himself will apprise the House once steps have been taken.

Nirupam demanded that an apology should be rendered to those who have been insulted in the cartoons and appropriate action should be taken against the guilty.

Speaker Meira Kumar said the matter is important but asked them to raise it during Zero Hour.




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