After promising the removal of a political cartoon depicting Dr BR Ambedkar, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today promised that all objectionable material in school textbooks will be withdrawn and the books that have been sent out will be withdrawn. However, the BJP has sought the resignation of minister Kapil Sibal over the issue.
“All objectionable material in the books should be withdrawn from whatever has been circulated. It will be withdrawn,” Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha even as MPs including Sonia Gandhi thumped their desks in support.
“The books will not be prescribed as textbooks and the entire textbooks will be withdrawn,” he said.
The Finance Minister also said action would be taken against those guilty of publishing the offensive cartoons, CNN IBN reported.
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said that the Lok Sabha represented the people and said that Congress leaders had to agree that such “canards” about politics should not be spread “in a systematic manner among children”.
“I don’t know what procedure has been followed. I don’t know what brilliant minds have done this but they are clearly minds which are not needed,” Sinha said, adding that the Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal should resign over the issue.
The debate came even as a group of MPs had reportedly met with senior NCERT officials seeking the removal of cartoons depicting politicians.
The MPs have raised ojections to the cartoons that feature in political science textbooks from standard 9 to 12 and have said it could reduce the faith of the youth in democracy and political leaders.