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Updated: June 9, 2012 18:20 IST

Activists vandalise scholar's office

Amruta Byatnal
Comment (54)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

‘I tried in vain to reason with attackers on cartoon'

A day after Suhas Palshikar quit as Chief Adviser of the National Council of Educational Research And Training (NCERT) over the Ambedkar cartoon row, a group of youths ransacked his office at the University of Pune. The Republican Panthers Party of India (affiliated to the RPI-Athawale) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Professor Palshikar, who is the head of the Political Science department in the university, along with psephologist Yogendra Yadav, who also resigned as Chief Adviser on Friday, was instrumental in designing the NCERT syllabus in 2006. It was then that a decision was taken to include the caricature on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in a Class XI textbook, depicting the process of the framing of the Constitution. On Friday, following a ruckus in both Houses of Parliament, the government apologised for the cartoon, and promised to withdraw the textbook henceforth.

Speaking to The Hindu, Professor Palshikar said that on Saturday four people came to his office and told him they had come to protest his including the controversial caricature in the textbook. His efforts to reason with them were in vain. “They said, how can you insult Dr. Ambedkar? I tried to convince and pacify them. I even asked them to read the text around the cartoon which explains the entire process of the framing of the Constitution.”

But, “Unfortunately, they did not want to discuss anything. It feels like they had come to create a scene. They started shouting slogans, picked up chairs and vandalised the furniture.” Faculty members Yashwant Sumant, Harsh Jaglap and Vivek Ghotale were present at the time of the incident, which lasted 10 minutes.

The Pune police have arrested three of the youths. They said further action would be taken against them if the university filed a criminal complaint.

Professor Palshikar, however, said punishing the youths would serve no purpose. “Instead, whoever instigated them should be convinced of the futility of such actions. The people who attacked my office didn't know why they were doing it. Their leaders should be spoken to, and brought under pressure to stop such activity.”

Standing by his decision to quit as NCERT Chief Adviser, he said: “There was cross-party support to the idea of banning the caricature, stating that it insults Dr Ambedkar. This means that the government does not want to encourage creative textbooks anymore. We decided that when our views are at variance with the government, we cannot continue anymore.” The NCERT has not yet replied to his resignation. Professor Palshikar said: “Cartoons and caricatures are an integral part of political commentary, and the so-called controversial caricature did not target any particular group.”

The ransacking incident was condemned by a research organisation, Lokniti, of which Professor Palshikar is Director.

“We wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms the vandalism indulged in by certain elements ... We believe that such actions strike at the very core of democratic foundations of our society. Babasaheb Ambedkar represents the best of democratic values and traditions. It is a sad commentary that those who indulged in this mindless act of violence sought to muzzle free speech and expression, values that are at the core of Babasaheb's philosophy,” Sandeep Shastri, National Coordinator, Lokniti Network, said in a statement.

As a student I am not able to understand what this chaos is all about.
Why is there so much hullabaloo over a cartoon which according to some
seems derogatory. I have not read the textbook but have seen the
cartoons. In a democracy where freedom forms the foundation why is a
group of people not able to accept an opinion that in no way seems
derogatory for me as well as for a learning community.
I condemn the attacks and feel that the same men who are resorting to
violence in the name of Dr Ambedkar , are the real culprits who are
against the very democratic ethos that Dr Ambedkar advocated.

from:  Kavya Ravi
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 22:29 IST

If it had been VHP or ABVP folks the title of the article would scream "Lumpen elements" or "Saffron thugs". In this case, The Hindu being secular, the attackers are fondly called "Activists". Or are you afraid that you may be the next to be visited upon the "Activists"?

from:  kvjayan
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 22:21 IST

How many of these idiots who attacked the Scholars office could even spell the word
Constitution or its Hindi equivalent of Samvidhan? In ten years, it is going to be
difficult for anybody to say anything in India because it is going to hurt someone
else's feeling and instead of raising a protest in a democratic manner, they are going
to raise their voices and chairs and stones and sticks. That's why Ambedkar spent so
many years to draft a democratic constitution, isn't it?

from:  Punit
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 21:43 IST

It is unfortunate ! I don't think that Dr.Ambedkar would have allowed his followers to violate democratic norms. Intolerance is a suicidal for Dalits. There claim may very much correct but it is giving chance to them to rage a movement against the caste mind set people.

Though I don't see any thing wrong in the cartoon because it is giving an opportunity for debate on the role of Dr. Ambedkar.

Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 16:44 IST

India has become a Banana Republic.

from:  Soundararajan Srinivasa
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 16:38 IST

I find some comments criticizing inclusion of cartoons in text books for Class XI.
One should concede that today's school students are far more mature than those
of bygone years by any standards. They have access to practically everything which
an adult has today. Incidentally, drawing or sketching cartoons is not something
included in college syllabus also, but are basically creative abilities found amongst
some children in their formative years at primary school level,as they try sketching
and painting in the Drawing Classes.I don't think,any of the famous cartoonists like
RK Laxman, Kutty or even Bal Thackeray learnt this art formally in colleges. So, the
real issue for the politicians in 2012 is the cartoon of Dr BR Ambedkar of 1949, its
creator and its publisher. Ironically, it was a non-issue for either Dr BR Ambedkar
or then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 14:35 IST

When institutionalised under government departments, this is bound to happen. Education is not and cannot be an activity of a state bureaucracy. Somebody sitting in ND cannot decide what kind of education the child in a remote village should have. It has to be a part of a conscious and active social organisation and not of officialdom howsoever enlightened it be.

from:  RY Deshpande
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 14:28 IST

This isn't about our collective (lack of a) sense of humour. The cartoon appeared in 1949, when it was an off-beat way of commenting on a topical issue. It did not draw peals of objection then. It isn't even about whether the cartoon insults Ambedkar - he's dead, and is beyond being affected by it. The cartoon was included in the textbook to make the study of Indian political science more engaging (and from my school days, I know I found political science bone dry). Is that a good goal? Yes it is. Did those that included the cartoon do so in order to give offence? No they didn't. Those that take offence anyway, snatch it unto themselves unilaterally. They merit no sympathy whatsoever.

from:  Mark D.
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 13:48 IST

This isn't about our collective (lack of a) sense of humour. The cartoon appeared in 1949, when it was an off-beat way of commenting on a topical issue. It did not draw peals of objection then. It isn't even about whether the cartoon insults Ambedkar - he's dead, and is beyond being affected by it. The cartoon was included in the textbook to make the study of Indian political science more engaging (and from my school days, I know I found political science bone dry). Is that a good goal? Yes it is. Did those that included the cartoon do so in order to give offence? No they didn't. Those that take offence anyway, snatch it unto themselves unilaterally. They merit no sympathy whatsoever.

from:  Mark D.
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 13:49 IST

One thing is certain that our constitution is moving at snail pace by management, corruption, nepotisam. The aspiration of the people from time to time is downgraded. People are allowed to vote only for the political party and not for the leaders direct. Dr. Ambadkar would have accepted this anomoly. Indian constitution requires many changes to come. I feel in the cartoon both Nehru and Ambadkar trying the constitution to move forward. For example Dr. Ambedkar thought the President will vertually rule the country and fixed two terms for that post. Unfortunately President became a rubber stamp because his election reqires concensus of the majority political party but not the people direct.

from:  astromurthy
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 13:30 IST

This caricature and others are included in the curriculum to take the
children back in time and appreciate how critics looked at various
aspects of Indian polity. This is a refreshingly new approach which
promotes happy learning. It is unfair to politicise this. And the fact
that this caricature was decades old, which received no adverse reaction
till Mr. Sibal's, shows how intolerant and irrational we have become
over time.

from:  Gowtham Pothala
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 12:00 IST

First this happened in the Bengal, now its happening on the national level. The incidents which are happening show that the democratic spirit of our government is decreasing. First it was the Mamata's government which showed intolerance towards the professor who made the cartoons and now its turn of the professors at the national level, who are working for NCERT, and have high respect for Ambedkar.
The sad part is that the same opposition which was opposing Mamata is now a part of aggression against the professors at national level. Is there anybody to speak for the DEMOCRACY?

from:  Indervir Singh
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 11:46 IST

Once The Republican Panthers Party of India (affiliated to the RPI-Athawale) has
claimed responsibility for the attack, they should be officially penalized for amount 2
cr and more, so that in future not a single party or goon will think about breaking
public or private property for personal gain.

from:  Manoj Kumar
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 11:36 IST

Being a profound lover of children, Shankar started the Shankar's
International Children's Competition in 1949 which paved the way for
Shankar's On-the-Spot Painting Competition for Children in 1952. He
only instituted the annual Competition for Writers of Children's Books
in 1978 which was initially in English but later on commenced in Hindi
as well which attracts children around the globe. The Childrens’ Book
Trust and the annexed International Dools Museum with Dr. B.C. Roy
Memorial Children's Library and Reading Room and Library in Nehru
House situated at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi will carry
forward the legacy of Shankar from generations to generations.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri.Chennai
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 11:27 IST

His prophetic cartoon showing emaciated and exhausted Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru, with a torch in hand, runs the final leg of a race,
with party colleagues Gulzari Lal Nanda, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Morarji
Desai, Krishna Menon and also Indira Gandhi in tow with Nehru’s
remark- "Don’t spare me, Shankar" published on May 17, 1964 just 10
days prior to the untimely demise of the late Prime Minister will be
one of the everlasting archetype of the political cartoons of the
genius. His sketch of Pandit Nehru resolving a litigious problem
wherein the latter could diplomatically proclaim Vande Mataram as the
national song to mollify the classically-inclined, whilst earmark
‘Jana Gana Mana’ the national anthem, was implausible for proving his

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri.Chennai
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 11:25 IST

A cartoon of 1949, reproduced in a specific context in a text book in
2006 by NCERT disturbs the order of the society suddenly in 2012,
through violent means.Nothing prevents those who feel that the cartoon
of 1949 retrospectively has offended the sentiments of some section of
people to resort to legally permissible means to voice their
opposition/ resentment. This is another example of our growing
intolerance in India. Given this trend, if any cartoonist tries to
highlight through a cartoon in a widely circulated newspaper or
magazine, the lesser than snail's pace the present day government is
functioning in utter disregard to people's crying needs and their
legitimate aspirations,one wonders what will happen to the cartoonist
and the publishers. It is time that media raised its collective voice
to put down firmly such impulsive and sponsored acts of disturbing
public peace.Otherwise,this trend will swallow our democracy faster
than other disruptive forces.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 11:23 IST

It is very unfortunate that the Cartoon of Shanker which depicts the
belated preparation of Constitution and the slow pace at which the
bureaucracy performs circumventing the rights of people has now looked
down as an insult to our leaders like Nehru or Ambedkar who themselves
had praised the legendary cartoonist then. It is to be noted that The
first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was keen on getting the
Constitution immediately after getting freedom from the British rule
but Ambedkar was correspondingly keen on drafting one of impeccable
constitutions that incorporates intrinsic clauses for protecting the
sovereignty of the nation as well as the liberty to common people
totally distinct from constitutions of other nations that attained
freedom in mid forties.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri.Chennai
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 11:20 IST

the entire controversy is entirely avoidable. why should not the present
generation be informed about the slow pace of drafting constitution? it
infact substantiate the upholding of democratic values in making of our
constitution. as a student, i have read the concerned book and chapter
and i enjoyed it and yes, the cartoon too! such a nice way of driving
home a subtle idea! this is how i as a student interpreted the cartoon:
Dr. Ambedkar is the major influence in driving our constitution and also
to preserve it from the though-well-intended-hastening-approach! the
hastening by some politicians and controlling by others gave an overall
balanced approach.... while the common people are eager about the
formation of "constitution".....
now i don't want to say that this is the right interpretation, but i
have a right to interpret it....why are we taking this right from our
younger generations? can't our Parliament be busy with something more

from:  shivangi
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 11:17 IST

There was a time in India when we used to say that mandal and kamandal ki rajneeti is going on. Now it seems that cartoon ki politics is having a predominant voice in politics of India. Acts like the ruckus in parliament, resignation of scholars, attack and vandalism in the office of a leading scholar, banning of the cartoon do not carry a very promising message for democracy. The problem is that through these acts the value of democracy is constantly being undermined. The realization of being democratic and the nuances of how democracy should work is losing dialogue. It is not necessary that to protect ideological compartments one has to attack dialogue. One of the most important problem of the modern Indian state is that the liberal space in the society (not in Western parlance but in a more free understanding)has reduced which is giving rise to very skewed reactions. Dalit empowerment cannot have any bearing on cartoons but more workable ways of representing the section.

from:  Sreejan Das
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 11:05 IST

Mr Ganesh: I think in this case, where the object of study is the Constitution and its political ramification, psephologists are the best qualified "educationists, teachers, [and] professors" for designing the NCERT syllabus.

from:  Circe
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 10:51 IST

The cartoon -taken out of context- created decades ago when both
characters depicted were alive was in good humour and all accepted
along with thousands of creations Mr.Shankar used to publish through his Weekly- was introduced in the Text Books many years ago WITHOUT any one taking umbrage over it.There are other aspects
to it.
1.The timing is suspicious and is a Red Herring to DIVERT attention
from some other Awkward Issues the Treasury Benches are facing.
2.This specific piece is introduced in a Text Book is wrong and if
one is suspicious of the intention he/she could not be found at fault.SYSTEMATIC "progom"were introduced in the blood lines of the country to obfuscate the deeds of Great Men and Women who contributed to the Cause of Independence and Greatness of the Nation.Where are the contributions of Lala Lajpat Rai, Abul Kalam Azad, the Lal,Bal,Pals, Netaji,Khan Abdul ghaffar Khan,The Sardar,Raja Ram Mohan Roy,Babu Rajendra Prasad and others.Was Panditji ALONE DID EVERYTHING ?

from:  arackal narayanan
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 10:51 IST

We have got ourselves buttonholed with this idea that freedom of speech should not be used to hurt anybody.
Freedom of speech has to be absolute, or in other words anybody can say anything about anybody or any God.
If you dont like what I say, then sue me in courts and prove me wrong. Being hurt with no proof means you just need to have your own head examined first.

from:  ashokr
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 10:41 IST

The cartoon reproduced here does not have anything insulting to
Ambedkar. As can be seen Ambedkar is sitting on a snail with
constitution written on it. He has a whip which he is just holding
horizontally as if having no intention of whipping the snail. Nehru is
standing behind and with the whip raise as if to beat the "snail". Not
Ambedkar. In all probability the snail must be representing the
committee formed for writing constitution. Ambedkar is not urging it
to finish writing while Nehru wants it done immediately So Nehru is
impatient to get it done early and so urging the committee himself.
I don't know in what way it is insulting Ambedkar and these MPs of all
hues should bring down parliament and this people ransack the offices
of the NCERT officials?

from:  vkguptan
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 10:40 IST

There is a lot of unrest and disorder(apparent and latent) prevalent in the country due to lack of national interest and responsibility in all political parties. It would be appropriate to impose president's rule till 2014 so that Aam Admi can get some relief and brethe.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 10:33 IST

Inclusion of this 1949 cartoon in school textbooks is unwarranted. A cartoon is always an exaggerated picture of reality to vent a view, like what a comedian portrays. We like it as it reflects common public anger against mighty power-that-be. Every cartoon has a news background of real politics which is gain not bipartisan. There it is unnecessary for a school student to learn such thing from a text book. On the other hand, Ambedkar today emerged to be a figure for his political actions post 1949. He is not merely a scholar of constitution. He is a messiah of suppressed class. By including this cartoon in school textbook, a section of people tries downsize him as constitutional scholar. Therefore this cartoon is better to be withdrawn.

Slow pace of constitutional building as portrayed by the cartoon is a collective responsibility. Was the process really slow? Momentary reflections cannot be history.

from:  S. Arunagiri
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 09:43 IST

This act of vandalism is shameful. True followers of Dr Babasaheb
Abemdkar cannot resort to such undemocratic act and Dr Ambedkar never
supported vandalism. He was champion of democratic ethos and always
believe in right to dissent and expression.

from:  nitin patil
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 09:27 IST

The attack on Dr Suhas Palshikar's office for including the cartoon in the text book is deplorable to say the least. When neither Dr BR Ambedkar himself nor the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru found anything objectionable in the cartoon drawn in 1949 by legendary Shankar of "Shankar's weekly" fame", what is the locus standi of the lawmakers of today to condemn the cartoon and demand punishment to the the cartoonist and the publisher ? Does this mean, the authorities now propose to withdraw the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan decorated on the Late Shankar by successive governments earlier ? Aren't cartoons basically "satire" in the form of drawing ? If any other meaning is made out, shouldn't all cartoons be considered offensive to someone or the other, calling for total ban on drawing of cartoons altogether ?

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 09:20 IST

I don't agree with Mr. Palshikar's decision of not punishing the youths. I don't think their leaders would be pressurized by anyone to stop such action. Such actions can only stop if these youths are punished severely. By this, the next person who wants to vandalize anyone's property or public proper will rethink. Mr. Palshikar's action is an encouragement to similar youths. I would have been happy to read if these youths were charged with fine of thousands of rupees and jail term for some years. Youths who can be easily influenced by their leaders don't need to be let loose so easily in a civilized society.

from:  Sagar
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 08:53 IST

It seems that after 60 years of parliamentary democracy we are losing
political tolerance and a sense of humour. The cartoon depicted by Mr.
Shankar, the most distinguished cartoonist of those days, was
published in 1949 when Ambedkar and Pt. Nehru were alive. I am sure
Ambedkar must have enjoyed the cartoon when published. The cartoon
attacks on the slow pace of making of Constitution. The cartoonist
never meant any humiliation or degradation of either Ambedkar or
Nehru. It is we , the so called proponents of Ambedkar who are showing
disgrace to the great personality. Democracy demands tolerance and a
debate of higher level. Yogendra Yadav is right when he says that the
argument can not be advanced in intense atmosphere. In stead of
tenderng resignations by Yadav and Prof.Palshikar from NCERT, Kapil
Sibal, Hon'ble HRD Minister should have resigned for not appreciating high level caricature and for blaming NCERT.

Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 08:38 IST

It is a sad state of affairs. The cartoon really depicts the feelings
and conditions during the post independence time. The fact that kapil
sibal apologised in the parliament for the cartoon is one of the
parodies of our today's government. Instead of taking action against
atrocities done to dalits, they are apologising over and over about a
cartoon which is funny and tells a thousand words about the Indian
political situation at that time.
I am proud of Sandeep shastri as he stood by his own convictions. I
salute you sir for your courage and patriotrism.
And shame to the government and all the political parties, especially
the ones which say that they are for the dalits.

from:  Ravi teja
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 08:12 IST

Once The Republican Panthers Party of India (affiliated to the RPI-Athawale) has
claimed responsibility for the attack, they should be officially penalized for amount 2 cr and more, so that in future not a single party or goon will think about breaking public or private property for personal gain.

from:  Manoj Kumar
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 07:48 IST

I have read that book and never did it occur to me that it was hurting the sentiments of the Dalits. If one reads the comments attached to the cartoon then I believe sane people will understand what it is all about. Creating ruckus and hullabaloo is unnecessary and undemocratic. I think that our freedom of expression is in great jeopardy

from:  Aiman Reyaz
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 06:34 IST

this political cartoon, is obviously mocking dr ambedkar, as i, a 62 year old male see it. i find no offence at my age, but for 17-18 year old students, and that too, in a school text book, i too, would find it offensive and reprehensible. it is good that the government banned the cartoon from the text book. no matter what, the indian constitution, is among the best, in its variety of document, and there is no doubt, that dr ambedkar was the genius behind driving it to the form that it stood, when accepted formally. that, in nehru's view, the progress might have been slow, is only a reflection of those times and while such a cartoon may have had a point in those times prior to 1950, it has no place in a high school text book. particularly in context of our current social sensitivities.

from:  rajamani
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 03:17 IST

I think people are playing petty politics over this 60 year old cartoon instead of seeing things in perspective. The cartoon is about process of framing the constitution and not about Dr. Ambedkar.
I think the country called India is becoming increasingly Talibanised with zero tolerance. Everyday the motivation to move back to India diminishes by these sort of news.
We don't want our children to grow up in CORRUPT, INTOLERANT and CLOSED MINDED society, do we?

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 02:12 IST

The framing of the Constitution by the Ambedkar Committee within three years for an young
Nation of multiple diversity,it's discussion and adoption by a well represented Constituent Assembly and finally it's implementation in Jan 1950, is a very commendable political achievement.The history behind this important national foundation must be taught to all children first at the secondary and in greater detail at the higher secondary levels.However,the cartoon of 1949 by the greatest cartoonist of this country,Shanker Pillai,expresses probably a slowness with which it's formulation was perceived to be progressing then ; the impatience is written large both on Nehru and on Babasaheb.The cartoon was definitely of great relevance in 1949 as an expression of this perceived slowness ; it can,however,be appreciated today only by a mature readership,if juxtaposed ,alongside a specific discussion on the speed of its formulation.Its inclusion for standard XI does not serve this particular aspect.

from:  Narayanaswamy Venkataraman
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 01:08 IST

Saw the conroversial cartoon first time. It is indeed a bad caricature. The political overtones of the reaction to this cartoon may be opportunistic, but school caurriculam will be far better off sans such hare brained illustrations.

from:  Sanjayan
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 00:27 IST

I do not understand why psephologists are given the tasks of
designing NCERT syllabi. Shouldn't it be given eminent
educationists, teachers, professors ?

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 00:20 IST

where is Mr.Sibbal now ??? This the situation exactly where he should apologise to Prof.Palshikar. Its high time before these uneducated MPs who created ruckus in the parliament wasting taxpayers money ,they should now be thrown out of the parliament by allowing only educated ones to contest.
And i don't understand what's wrong in the cartoon????

from:  Mukul Priya
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 00:16 IST

I strongly condemn the attack. But i also ask the NCERT people what made them to reproduce that cartoon which is highly irrelevant in the present context.
The "snail's pace" delay, if anything by BR Ambetkar, should be a research subject for college students or research scholars; not for 11th standard students. The cartoon gives a wrong impression about BR Ambetkar, and will not do anything good in our highly polarized, casteist society. This news piece which says BR Ambetkar as 'dalit icon' (instead of national leader) is a good example.

from:  Marx P Selvaraj
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 22:43 IST

The Ambedkar cartoon controversy has brought to light few facts.
Nehru was in a great hurry to produce the Indian constitution. While B R Ambedkar, the drafting committee chairman was cautious and was not hurrying through. We also get to know the creator of the cartoon in 1948, Keshav Shankar Pillai and his magazine, Shankar's Weekly, India's Punch, a British weekly magazine of humor from 1841. It became a British institution most influential for political criticism with funny illustration.
Shankar Pillai, commonly called Shankar, the government of India honored him with Padma Shri in 1956, Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Padma Vibhushan in 1976. He is the founder of the publishing house, Children's Book Trust, in 1957. A great Cartoonist Journalist of India and by just coincident because his cartoon of 1948, now in 2012, we are made to remember him and to pay our reverence to him.

from:  Prem Anand
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 22:31 IST

This act is very shameful as such attack are not on one particular man
but on very nature of democracy. All of us have right of expression and
dissent and should be not taken away by such forces in the name of Dalit
icon. Dr Ambedkar was a champion of democratic values to be adopted but
his so called follower are humiliating him by ransacking the academician.

from:  Rahul Wathodkar
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 21:46 IST

The cartoon was originally drawn and published during Dr Ambedkar's life
time. He and Nehru, being the statesmen they were, must have had a
hearty laugh at this cartoon and acknowledged the point behind it to
Shankar. In my opinion, it is the so called followers, who are indulging
in this sort of hooliganism in the name of Dr Ambedkar, who are
insulting Baba Saheb Ambedkar.

from:  Narayan
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 21:32 IST

A renowned cartoonist F M Khan was forced to leave India for the reason that he had insulted Hindu Gods by depicting through his cartoons.Why not the brain behind the preset row be punished ? Why such person be spared?. Showing Dr.Ambedkar through has hurted the feelings of his followers.The educationists should not commit such mistakes of insulting the sentiments of the people.People Admire him for his contribution and service for uplifting downtrodden,weaker section,women,and labour class of this country.He sacrificed all his life.He did not pay due attention to his ailing wife and he also lost four children for want of proper treatment.He did not pay due attention due to his involvement in struggle for independence of his people.It is never expected of Educationists, Intellectuals like Mr Suhas Palsekar that he find Dr Ambedkar as source for his cartoon.People should avoid in future such thing in future.They should think of pros and cons before they take such decisions.

Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 21:19 IST

It is sad that MPs think that to bring any issue to the notice of
Govt. the only way is by disruption.Is it because that the feeling has
grown among MPs especially the opposition, that they are not given an
opportunity to express their views on an issue which is not listed in
the agenda, yet they feel the issue is to be brought to the notice of
Parliament and the govt. If that be the case a way should be found to
give them a chance to speak. In the present case, instead of disrupting the House, a letter addressed to the Minister/PM wouldn't have solved the issue?
Having said the above, it is not at all clear >why the cartoon lampooning the delay in completion, has been put in the text book in the present, as the Constitution has been written, adopted and come into force long back. The two academicians, who resigned in protest(?), have not talked about it so far. It is strange, a prof. who taught Ambedkar to students for years doesn't has no respect for him.

from:  Narayana Sambarapu
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 21:07 IST

Seems like we have left with very little tolerance for differing views in Indian democracy now. Government of India seems to not only dance to the tune of religious pressures, it now conclusively proven that it is an equal opportunity establishment - it can dance equally well to any well orchestrated pressure - religious, caste, creed etc.

from:  Krishna Dammanna
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 20:57 IST

This is shameful. I have never heard of the existence of a party called Republican Panther of India. Such parties formed on ethnic lines are the most dangerous threat to democracy. They don't allow freedom of expression, discussion on something they don't agree upon. Instead they issue ultimatum much like Taliban's fatwa and imposition of sharia. Disgusting.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 18:13 IST

Sign of worse times to come. Freedom of expression is a total myth in
India, and the State for all practical purposes, is either dead or
incapable of protecting its own Constitution. Maybe all non-conformist
thinkers and artistes in India should start applying for asylum in the
West before they are killed or persecuted.

from:  luhar sen
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 18:12 IST

Though I abhor violence and destructive behavior directed against
intellectuals, I must say what do you expect if one is dim enough to
include in a high-school textbook, a cartoon showing Nehru whipping
Ambedkar on a snail (hopefully), with several hundreds laughing at the
architect of our Constitution, scholar, and all round fine gentleman who
according to me, had more of a spine than Nehru ever did?

from:  Iyer
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 18:02 IST

Why include Cartoons in a text book? Cartoons belong to magazines and newspapers. Lids belong to boxes and caps, to heads. They can not be interchanged.

from:  Syed
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 17:12 IST

Talibanism as an idea is not confined to adherents of any particular religion or sect, but it is a mindset which reaches out for violence to impose views. Nazism in Germany was a previous century variant of this attitude that destroyed many lives and broght Germany to her knees. Encouragement of talibanism in Pakistan has rendered that country a failed state. The rise of talibanism in India poses a danger of similar magnitude to the country.

from:  S.P.Chakravarty
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 17:08 IST

Time and again we see incidents like this. The Police are utterly
incapable of defending individual rights in India.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 17:05 IST

The miscreants must be arrested immediately and put behind bars.These
are Political goons dispatched by some politician.Names of Politicians
not difficult to guess.

from:  Kuldip Gupta
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 16:22 IST

We are once again unable to differentiate between a cartoon and real life. God save the country. I dont think we will have any freedom in future. As the prof rightly put it freedom is shrinking in our democracy

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 15:55 IST
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