Jayalalithaa demands withdrawal of cartoon from NCERT book (Lead)

June 13th, 2012 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 13 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Wednesday urged the central government to remove from a Class 12 NCERT textbook a cartoon about the anti-Hindi agitation that rocked the state in 1965 as it defames Dravidian movement leaders like Periyar, C.N. Annadurai and others.

The cartoon by famed cartoonist R.K.Laxman appears in the Class 12 Political Science textbook prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

In a statement issued here, Jayalalithaa said: “Contrary to the photograph that is published in the book that shows the true nature of the anti-Hindi agitation, the cartoon is published hurting the sentiments of the Tamil people.”

She said the cartoon defames the leaders of the Dravidian movement like Annadurai and Periyar and others.

According to her, photographs were better to teach students about the Dravidian movement and condemned the publication of the cartoon.

Recalling that the anti-Hindi agitation was one of the reasons for the change of rulers in the state, Jayalalithaa said the cartoon denigrates the protest.

On Saturday, DMK president M. Karunanidhi had also urged the central government to remove the anti-Hindi agitation cartoon from the NCERT text book as it hurt the (Tamil) people’s sentiments.

In May, a ‘dalit’ party from Tamil Nadu, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, a UPA ally, and the Tamil Nadu unit of the CPM had kicked up a furore over a cartoon in the NCERT’s political science text book showing Jawaharlal Nehru “whipping” B.R. Ambedkar over the slow progress of the framing of the Constitution after Independence.

The cartoon was first published in 1949 and now reproduced in school textbooks. It whipped up a storm in Parliament with Tamil Nadu and opposition members disrupting proceedings and demanding that the cartoon be removed from textbooks. Two NCERT advisers N. Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar resigned over the issue.

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