As we are not in a position to contact all the signatories, we respond briefly to some specific issues. We want to reiterate that our petition is based on facts.
The Ambedkar cartoon is very much under the purview of the Professor Thorat committee. If it was not, the members who submitted the petition to the committee would have been told that when they met the chairman.
It is a cheap trick to equate us to “the right-wing Hindu educational machine” while describing us as “some of our best scholars.” Such accusations and branding are not going to cow us into withdrawing our complaint against the cartoon. We stand by what we stated in the petition.
The representation of Ambedkar is an important issue for us. You ridicule our commitment to Ambedkar and accuse us of “over obsession with the cartoon” and of “[g]etting fixated on one cartoon in one textbook.”
We have asked the committee to examine “possibly other such insensitive material.” This shows our commitment to and regard for a democratic process and sensitivity to the social fabric of our country. We cannot take up the role of the Textbooks Review Committee and identify all the material that is insensitive as Apoorvanand is suggesting that we should do.
Apoorvanand twists a sentence in the petition to accuse us of saying that the attack on Professor Palshikar's office was used to “divert attention from the atrocity of the Shankar cartoon.” We have not said this. We brought to the notice of the Thorat committee that a large section of Dalit scholars including students condemned the attack on Prof. Palshikar's office.