Congress leaders ask Achuthanandan to withdraw school book

July 31st, 2008 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, July 31 (IANS) Congress leaders in Kerala Thursday met Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan to demand the withdrawal of controversial chapters from a Class 7 social science textbook, saying these try to inject communist ideology among students. Led by opposition leader Oommen Chandy, they submitted a report on the book to Achuthanandan.

The state Congress had formed a panel of eminent educationists headed by historian M.G.S. Narayanan to look into the controversial chapters in the textbook. The panel’s report suggested that the first three chapters be withdrawn.

The opposition has for long been saying that the book is full of communist ideology and distorts the rich history of India’s independence movement.

The Congress team that submitted the report to the chief minister included state Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala and United Democratic Front (UDF) convenor P.P. Thankachen.

Addressing reporters later, Chandy said their main demand was a revamp of the Kerala Curriculum Framework.

“This is one of the major demands that we have forwarded to the chief minister. He has said this report would be forwarded to the syllabus committee,” said Chandy.

In a related development, Hybi Eden, president of the Kerala Students Union - the student wing of the Congress party - submitted a text meant to serve as a replacement of the controversial book to Education Minister M.A. Baby.

“Baby said it will be handed over to the syllabus committee,” said Eden.

Meanwhile, the municipal council of Manjeri town in Malappuram district, controlled by the opposition UDF Thursday passed a resolution demanding the withdrawal of the controversial text book from the school curriculum.

Many local self-governance institutions in Malappuram district, a stronghold of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), have passed resolutions against the textbook, inviting sharp reactions from the CPI-M led state government.

Azeez Cheeramthodi, a Congress member in municipal council who moved the resolution, told reporters, “It reflects the sentiments of the majority of people in the town.”

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