Objectionable pamphlet withdrawn

NEW DELHI DEC. 4. A pamphlet published by the Parliament Secretariat — Movement for Freedom and Democratic Institutions — has become a subject of controversy. The reason: It uses words like terrorists and extremists to describe the leaders of the freedom movement.

Late in the evening, the Lok Sabha Secretariat announced the withdrawal of the pamphlet from circulation. It said a series of pamphlets had been brought out for distribution to dignitaries at exhibitions set up by it and that their contents were based on published data/sources.

Earlier, the Congress had called for the immediate withdrawal of the pamphlet and has urged the Secretariat to replace the objectionable passage. " We express strong disapproval of the contents and the language used to describe the freedom movement," a party spokesperson said.

The issue was first taken up by the party in the Rajya Sabha, where both the Leader of the Opposition, Manmohan Singh, and the Congress chief whip, Pranab Mukherjee, voiced their strong objection to the contents.

Bringing the issue to the notice of the Chair, Dr. Singh demanded that the objectionable portions in the pamphlet be withdrawn.

"These words have acquired a particular significance in the contemporary discussion of terrorism," he told the House.

Mr. Mukherjee said the country had never accepted a `description', such as this, even by the colonial rulers.

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