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Odisha withdraws school booklet that claimed Mahatma Gandhi's death was accidental

Mahatma Gandhi's body lying in state in Birla House in Delhi   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

In the wake of widespread condemnation from political parties, civil society organisations and intellectuals, the Odisha government on Saturday admitted to having committed a mistake by describing Mahatma Gandhi's death as ‘accidental’ in a brochure and withdrew it.

The two-page Aama Bapuji: Eka Jhalaka (’Our Bapuji: A Glimpse’), brought out by the government on the occasion of the Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary, says he died at the Birla House in New Delhi on January 30, 1948 in ‘accidental sequence of events’. It was circulated in schools across the State.

In a reply in the Legislative Assembly on Saturday, School and Mass Education Minister Sameer Dash said, “the government had neither any intention to feed false information to students nor any plan to distort facts. The mistake was unintentional. We have already withdrawn the brochure. The person who had prepared the literature has been disengaged from the service. Explanation has been sought from another two government officers”.

A newly printed corrected brochure would be distributed among students within a month and the present copies junked, he said.

Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingh Mishra raised the issue again in the Assembly on Saturday, saying Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should have apologised for the distortion of fact as the brochure was prepared by a committee formed to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 12:20:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gandhiji-booklet-row-odisha-govt-terms-it-an-inadvertent/article29992925.ece

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