Special Correspondent

Says it is a ploy by Education Minister

IUML sees ‘anti-religious’ contents in handbook also

Kanthapuram not for raising the issue in mosques

Kozhikode: Echoing the views of the Congress on the expert committee formed by the State government to examine complaints about the Class VII social science textbook, Indian Union Muslim League State general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty has said the committee headed by K.N. Panikkar is packed with Marxist fellow travellers.

In a statement here on Thursday, Mr. Kunhalikutty said the constitution of the expert committee was a strategy of Education Minister M.A. Baby to take the sting out of the strong protests raging against the textbook. “Such political gimmicks will not work,” he warned.

Mr. Kunhalikutty said it was a pity that Mr. Baby had not even conceded the demand of Muslim organisations that the controversial portions of the textbook should not be taught. The Minister’s stand smacks of “arrogance,” Mr. Kunhalikutty said.

He said the members of the expert committee were CPI(M) fellow travellers and former members of the Kerala Sastra Sahithya Parishad.’

The committee has been asked to give its report in three months. Since it would take only three months to teach the lessons in the textbook, the Minister should at least have given instructions that the controversial portions need not be taught, he said.

The Muslim League leader said the handbook that contained instructions to teachers on how to teach the social science textbook was also packed with “anti-religious” contents.

It contains instructions to teachers to instil in the minds of children anti-religious sentiments. “This will not be allowed. The protests against the anti-religious textbook cannot be doused with political gimmicks,” he added.

A demand had been made at a meeting of the Muslim coordination committee formed to organise protest against the textbook that a reference be made to the controversial textbook in speeches at prayer meetings held in mosques on Friday.

However, Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musaliar, Sunni leader, said on Thursday that he was not for using mosques as a platform to raise the matter.

Since the issue undeniably has a political flavour, it could create differences of opinion among those present if raised at prayer meetings since members of all political parties will be present in mosques, he said.