Updated: May 11, 2012 23:20 IST

NCERT asked to remove Ambedkar cartoon from textbooks: Sibal

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TV grab of Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal addressing the Lok Sabha, amidst members waving photocopies of the controversial cartoon in an NCERT text-book, on Friday.
TV grab of Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal addressing the Lok Sabha, amidst members waving photocopies of the controversial cartoon in an NCERT text-book, on Friday.

Amid uproar in Parliament over a cartoon of B R Ambedkar in NCERT textbooks, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday “apologised” over the objectionable content, saying he has directed removal of the material and stoppage of distribution of books.

He appealed to political parties not to make it an issue for vote bank politics.

”...I am willing to personally apologise for it though I was not the minister at that time in 2006. I was involved in the publication of the books,” Mr. Sibal told reporters outside Parliament House.

He said there was no question of anybody trying to malign Ambedkar or anybody trying to make fun of him because that “I think will be against the secular ethos of our country“.

Mr. Sibal said much before the issue came to Parliament, he had taken action on it and set up a committee to look at the entire gamut of cartoons in textbooks and their content to ensure material of this nature is taken out of textbooks.

“This issue came to my notice sometime towards April and we sought an explanation from NCERT and after the explanation had come, we took the decision on April 27 that this particular cartoon should be withdrawn from NCERT textbooks on political science,” he said.

Mr. Sibal said the government further decided that the textbooks which contain the cartoon shall not be distrubuted.

The wholesalers, he said, have also been asked to stop distribution of the textbooks.

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Shame on all the politicians who turned parliament in to a mess over the isssue of a cartoon published decades ago by the most eminent cartoonist and patted on the back by the figures like Nehru and Dr Ambedkar.....The opportunist politicians of today saw meat and barged in to the issue to get votes.. lets beat all the dirty political nuts out and clean our system to make India incredible and a super power by 2050

from:  Bimal
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 11:30 IST

The Cartoon is very nice and shows the joint efforts of Honourable Baba saheb Ambedkar and Shri J.L.Nehru for completion of our Constitution in time. Where Baba saheb depicted driving the activity, Shri J.L. Nehru is shown giving full support to him. Now what is wrong in this is a puzzal.

from:  Pramod Saraswat
Posted on: May 15, 2012 at 15:32 IST

We strongly condemn the attack by four people on the office of Dr.Suhas
Palshikar. Political leaders should stop orchestrating such violence.
The incidence is an attack on Ambedkarite movement itself. Debate on
educational content is welcome, but cannot be dealt with such physical
attacks. This is an indication that social Science in India is not safe
in the hands of our policy makers. We condemn such attack … and also
feel sorry for those who failed to understand Dr.Ambedkar.

from:  Harshad Bhosale
Posted on: May 14, 2012 at 19:41 IST

This is very amusing. In the US, political cartoonists get Pulitzers. In
India, for something which just carcicaturises someone is taken apart to
bits. We Indians lack a sense of humour.

from:  Sharada Annamaraju
Posted on: May 14, 2012 at 17:52 IST

where the country goes to?

from:  nallavan
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 13:46 IST

If any of the MPs had bothered to look at the cartoon closely they could
have noticed that Nehru was aiming at the snail representing the cartoon
and not at the back of Ambedkar.

from:  vkguptan
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 04:55 IST

It is blunder mistake made by NCERT to disrespect father of
constitution. Such kind of efforts are being continuously made to
inculcate our constitution is not good, i humbly want to say them to
just see the conditions of India's neighboring country then you will realize. It is the not matter of greatness but if you have such
mentality then how can say about the social need to
expand horizon of understanding

from:  Vijayanand Bansode
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 17:55 IST

Primarily Mr. Ambedkar was a part of a committee which framed the
constitution. Hence it is not correct to give credit to one individual.
If people are so sensitive, maybe remove his name from all literature.
Hence no one would be able to "tarnish" his name!

from:  Guru
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 01:03 IST

They are our great leaders. But we should always retain our rights to question their actions and
learn from their mistakes. Making them icons turns their actions to faith - which will make us
blind and shut the door for any improvements.

from:  Senthil Natarajan
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 22:28 IST

It is a pity that parliamentarians are taking the level of debate to a direction which can be at best called unimaginative. Are we moving towards intolerance and making our heros as God .

from:  Mukhtar Ahmad
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 22:25 IST

I have myself read the whole book. It is well-written and self explanatory. The controversial cartoon just tries to reflect how carefully and tediously our leaders made the constitution that stands unshakeable even today. It has nothing to do with social standing. Why don't our politicians create ruckus when dalit girls are raped and burnt alive in the country ?? Creating nuisance over petty issues are common in the parliament but who tries to raise issues of the common public ?? Are the students of 11 th standard not matured enough to understand what actually is being reflected ??

from:  Ashwini Kumar
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 21:47 IST

Why do we tend to God-ify our forefathers? What's the problem with considering them as Great(but still) human beings, who is supposed to be bound by few limitation under certain conditions.

from:  Himanshu Kishore
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 21:38 IST

This is a classic example of how our politics is so mindless, shameful
and selfish.
I looked at the cartoon (I am not sure why none of the media houses
published them so people can develop their independent assessment of
the issue) and I find it a case of poor creativity. Nothing more.
But just for couple of days celebrity this issue has been blown out of
proportion, a minister apologizes for nothing and two eminent
educationists quit.
Why cannot the politicians act with civility and taken up the issue
professionally and get the text book corrected? The loss of the
education experts is more damaging than the message of the cartoon!

from:  Shankar
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 21:26 IST

This whole issue, the high voltage drama being enacted in Parliament
of India, is more humorous than the cartoon of the greatest cartoonist
of yesteryears. This cartoon must have come in an issue of Shankar's
weekly some sixty odd years back. None has taken it as an insult then.
Mr.Nehru himself must have patted Shankar Pillai on his back. Nehru
was not a man to take umbrage if one draw a cartoon of him. And Nehru
and Shankar were good friends. Not like the present day Queens of
Hearts who proclaim 'Off with your head'. And this objectionable
cartoon was in the text book for the last six years. And now one
nonentity party found out and all are up on their feet to protest.
What more we need to do for making ourself the laughing stock of the
whole world. Holy Cow. Incredible India and Indians.

from:  vkguptan
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 20:38 IST

It should be made compulsory for every aspiring MP and MLA to study the constitution
and he/she should show a good comprehension of what freedom of expression means.
Today, both Nehru and Ambedkar would have hung their heads in shame and turned in
their graves. What a country!

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 20:34 IST

Shame shame Mr Kapil Sibal that the cartoon is removed from the books.
There is nothing wrong if cartoon is on Madam Mamata Bnnerji CM of KOlkata. Just to get dalit votes Kapil has ordered removal of the books. Amedkar was alive today he would have felt ashamed to have born in a country where politicians have made dalits as vote banks.
Dr. Ambedkar wanted reservation to be stopped after ten years but in India reservtions will never end till the world comes to an end.

from:  ashok chatrapathi
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 20:29 IST

I dont think the cartoon is intended to insult Ambedkar or making of the constitution. The cartoon was drawn at the time of the making of the constitution and was by Shankar. It also has people laughing at Ambedkar and Nehru. The cartoon has to be seen from eyes of people of that time, who were recently got independent and who were eager to be a republic. I dont think neither Ambedkar nor Nehru would have objected to the caroon. More over, Below the cartoon there is a question for students to think about why constitution took so much time to be framed ? The Catoon, in that sense, is there to convey the fact that it is not easy to come up with a constitution for a country like India and all great things that stand the test of time take time to materialise whether it is the tajmahal or The Constitution of India.

from:  goutham
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 19:04 IST

It is just the height of political opportunism. The cartoon mentioned
made fun about slow 'snails pace' of making of our constitution.It had
nothing to do with B.R Ambedkar or his dalit background.In that cartoon
Pandit Nehru is also there.In our democracy we have right to freedom and
expression.Our leaders should not see everything from the lenses of
votebank.On part of our HRD minister its an intelligent step to remove
the cartoon,so that its not made an issue to adjourn the parliament.

from:  Amit
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 18:40 IST

God alone knows what is happening in this country of 1.25 billion. How can any lapse of this type happen in an agency like NCERT which is renowned for quality books and publications. All countrymen must be aware that Dr. Ambedkar was a great nationalist & one of the most respected and highly qualified legal luminary of that time. He has earned all his credentials only through hard work.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 17:15 IST

I don't think even the great Dr. Ambedkar would have had this amount
of self esteem to fight literally on anything and everything that
involves anything connected with the identity of Dr. Ambedkar. It is
just a cartoon and there are matured ways of handling this issue and
not in the fashion that it is handled now. After all no one, at least
at the publication committee which approves the contents to be
published, is insane enough to portray the legal luminary in such an
objectionable manner nor are Indian teachers stupid enough to teach
ill about Dr Ambedkar merely because the cartoon is not convincingly
made in the view of the politicians. Dear Members of parliament, the
father of the Indian constitution would have been happier had you
shown some maturity and culture in handling this issue. Threatening to
stall the parliament on issues such as this is completely not
P.S.: I am not a Congress partisan.

from:  Bharadwaj
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 16:48 IST

I think we should also teach tolerance in our schools. We can't be making an issue out of everything. Don't try to be politically correct all the time and take the fun, tolerance and seeing things in perspective from children's lives.
India is becoming an intolerant society every day

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 15:32 IST
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