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

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 the HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. Mr. 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.

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.”

Mr. Mukherjee assured the House that such books will not be prescribed and the entire publication will be withdrawn.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.

Mr. 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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