First, it was a cartoon on the anti-Hindi agitation, and now, another CBSE textbook has triggered a fresh controversy. A reference to the Nadar community in the social science book prescribed for 9{+t}{+h}standard students has evoked strong protests from the DMK, MDMK and PMK.

DMK leader M. Karunanidhi, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and PMK founder S. Ramadoss took exception to “an objectionable reference” in the book which reads: “The Shanars (also called Nadars) were a community of toddy tappers who migrated to southern Travancore to work under Nair landlords.”

“It is condemnable and unpardonable that the Nadars have been described as a community that settled in the southern districts. This is completely against facts,” Mr. Karunanidhi said. [Southern Travancore is a reference to the Kanyakumari area, which was earlier part of princely state of Travancore]

Recalling the names of great leaders, including K. Kamaraj, who belonged to the community, and their contribution to society, Mr. Karunanidhi said such incorrect details in textbooks prescribed for students was unpardonable. He sought the intervention of those responsible to remove the incorrect details.

Mr. Vaiko said that the people of the State were grateful to the Nadar community for their struggle in the demand for the merger of Kanyakumari district with Tamil Nadu.

“They are the ancient inhabitants of the soil. It is a blatant lie that they migrated to southern Travancore. The attempt made by the CBSE to suppress the fact and poison the mind of students is an unforgivable act.”

Mr. Vaiko said that he would lead a protest at Nagercoil.

“The book seeks to portray that Nadar women secured the right to wear blouses only after they converted to Christianity. It completely omits the role played by Ayya Vaikundar,” Dr. Ramadoss said.