Cartoon row serious, needs debate, says Congress

May 15th, 2012 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) The Congress Tuesday said it was all for freedom of expression, but cartoons “denigrating” politicians in NCERT books was a serious issue and it needed to be debated before the government could take a view on it.

“We favour freedom of speech…this is a serious issue…it needs to be debated so the government can take a view,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters here.

Following strong reactions to the cartoons, which Lok Sabha members said were influencing the young minds, Sibal told the house Monday that all objectionable material would be removed and the role of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) advisors probed.

National Conference member Sharifuddin Shariq was the lone voice in the lower house, saying the members should not be irked over cartoons.

Refusing to answer a query if parliamentarians were being intolerant in criticising the cartoons, Alvi said Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal had already made a specific statement on the issue.

The controversy arose after a cartoon on B.R. Ambedkar in a political science book of class XI rocked both houses of parliament.

NCERT advisors Suhas Palshikar and Yogendra Yadav, who differ from the government view, had resigned over the issue.

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