Geography book row: MP Minister says college principal suspended, book publisher blacklisted

Congress alleges about book listing Ravana among great men before MP Assembly

Published: 23rd March 2017 11:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2017 11:42 PM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

BHOPAL: The issue of Gond tribals being described as cow-slayers and beef-eaters in a post-graduate college geography book continued to rock Madhya Pradesh Assembly for the second day on Thursday.

The leader of opposition and senior Congress legislator Ajay Singh who had raised the issue on Wednesday, alleged on Thursday that a book in Makhanlal Chaturvedi University, Bhopal, mentioned names of Nathuram Godse and Ravana among great men.

Also, the MP minister for higher education Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya, while making detailed statements over the geography book issue mentioned how NCERT books published during tenure of previous Congress governments at the Centre had contained objectionable references about Jain Tirthankars and Jat community.

Making a detailed statement over the geography book row, the minister for higher education maintained that the author and publisher of the geography book have been blacklisted with immediate effect.

Maintaining that the book was not at all prescribed as a text book by the state government in any of the colleges of the state, Pawaiya said the book titled ‘Bharat ka Bhoogol’ was a reference book purchased at a local level by the principal of Mahakoshal Arts and Commerce College Jabalpur for the college library. “The college principal has been suspended. There is information about the book having been purchased as reference book in two to four more colleges, if it's confirmed then show cause notices will be issued to principals of those colleges also,” said Pawaiya.

He also informed the house that a complaint about the content in the book was made to the department of higher education via general administration department on February 20, after which a committee was formed to probe the matter. Based on the findings of the committee, the government has written to the collector and inspector general of police in Bhopal to act as per law against the book publisher and author for hampering social equity through such objectionable content.

The ministers subsequently raised the issue of how objectionable content about Jains and Jats was included in NCERT books during Congress government at the centre in the past. Senior Congress MLA and former minister Dr Govind Singh objected to the minister raking up old issues.

The leader of opposition Ajay Singh subsequently alleged that a book in Makhanlal University contains a list of great men, including Nathuram Godse and Ravana. Fellow party legislator said the list of great men also included the name of Shivraj Singh.

Former MP home minister and veteran BJP legislator Babulal Gaur, however, slammed the LoP and added that Singh was making false allegations as the list of great men in the concerned book didn’t mention Nathuram Godse, but instead included name of Nathuram Gond.

The minister of higher education Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya, however, told journalists later that he will look into the issue of the list of great men mentioned in the book and act accordingly.

Earlier, there was ruckus in the assembly, when Congress MLA from Dindori Omkar Singh Markam (who hails from Gond tribe) tried to speak out while the minister was making detailed statement over the geography book issue during the zero hour.

The speaker later allotted separate time to Markam to speak on the issue. The Congress MLA said the issue wouldn’t have been raised in the assembly on Wednesday by the LoP, had the state government acted on a memorandum addressed to the state governor and submitted by him to local administration in Dindori district on January 25, 2017.

Earlier on Wednesday, the LoP had raised in the state assembly the issue of depiction of Gond tribals as cow-slayers and beef-eaters in the geography book and demanded a statement by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan over it.

The issue had created uproar in the house, ultimately prompting the speaker Dr Sitasran Sharma to adjourn the house on Wednesday for the day.  


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