Lending her voice of opposition also to the inclusion of the cartoon on anti-Hindi agitation in a textbook of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday urged the Union government to ensure the cartoon's removal from the book.
“Even though the book has carried a photograph published by The Hindu then to underline the importance of the anti-Hindi agitation and portray the true picture, it is regrettable that the publication of the cartoon has offended sentiments of people of Tamil Nadu. I strongly condemn it,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.
The cartoon, which was featured in the 12th standard textbook for political science, also sought to denigrate the role of leaders such as ‘Periyar' E.V. Ramasamy and C.N. Annadurai, she added.
Recalling the background in which the agitation was launched and the eventual outcome, Ms Jayalalithaa stated that for explaining the salient aspects of the Dravidian movement to students, photographs of that era would have been the best tool. It would not be appropriate to hurt the feelings of the people by carrying a cartoon that had content to say as if the assurance was given that the Tamil student was not required to learn Hindi and that he was ignorant of English as the content was in that language.
Another unacceptable matter was that the cartoon presented an impression that those students, who participated in the anti-Hindi agitation, had indulged in violence, she said.