An R.K. Laxman drawing, perceived as showing students in Tamil Nadu agitating against Hindi in 1965 in a poor light, is one of the 10 cartoons recommended for removal from NCERT textbooks by a committee.
The cartoon on the anti-Hindi agitation, published in the Class XII Political Science book, angered political parties in Tamil Nadu, with the DMK demanding its removal.
While recommending the removal of some “objectionable” cartoons, the six-member panel has concluded that cartoons are a good tool of communication which should be used but suggested framing of guidelines for choosing appropriate cartoons for classes X-XII.
The committee, headed by Sukhadeo Thorat, chairperson of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, has suggested changing the text of some captions and removing some “offensive” questions asked by Chunni and Munni, cartoon characters.
The panel, set up following the row over the B.R. Ambedkar cartoon in the Class XI Political Science textbook, felt that social science books for all classes should be reviewed for not only screening the content but also updating curriculum as many things could be incorporated, sources in the Human Resource Development Ministry said.
Following a furore in the budget session of Parliament over the Ambedkar-Jawaharlal Nehru cartoon, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal announced the setting up of the panel and directed the removal of objectionable content. It examined cartoons, illustrations and other contents in six political science and social science textbooks.
Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar, who were chief advisers on the textbook monitoring committee that approved the Ambedkar cartoon, stepped down after the controversy. This is among the 10 cartoons recommended for removal.
The National Monitoring Committee will meet here next week to take a final call on the Thorat panel report. It is chaired by academics Mrinal Miri and G. B. Deshpande.