Suhas Palshikar's article “Save the classroom from the political class” (May 16) was thought-provoking. Cartoons are okay as long as they generate discussions and uphold decency and decorum, and are not intended to cast aspersions on anyone. They are welcome in textbooks as long as they depict historical events. However, politics finding a place in textbooks is not desirable as it could result in the promotion of political interests through the government machinery.
A cartoon it is not a full picture; it is only a perspective. The Ambedkar cartoon might have been a statement on the slow pace of drafting the Constitution. But a cartoon is best appreciated when an issue is current and its impact felt instantaneously.
Critical thinking is a product of influences on one's life. It cannot be divorced from the self. One cannot expect those who have been victims of centuries-old casteism to think “freely.” The “learn by-heart” culture in schools guarantees the least space for triggering non-conservative debates in classrooms. We have reached a stage where political discussions within educational institutions are considered taboo. What is the use of talking about freedom of expression when equality is at stake?
C. Maadhava Anusuyaa,
Is Dr. B.R. Ambedkar an icon of only Dalits (“Hardly funny,” May 15)? His role in drafting the Constitution and working towards an egalitarian society is huge. We must stop dividing great leaders into fragments. The argument that the cartoon is outdated has no relevance.
I don't remember being offended on seeing the cartoon as a student of Class 11. A high school student can differentiate between humour and denigration. It is political leaders who seem to have a skewed sense of propriety.