MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has stopped the circulation of its official magazine in English 'Maharashtra Ahead' after it was found that an incorrect picture of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar in his student days was published in the same.
The state government's Directorate General of Information and Public Relations (DGIPR) outsources the publication of the monthly English magazine.
The government said the agency concerned was being penalised for the error.
"After the goof-up was brought to our notice, the magazine's circulation was immediately stopped. We publish 7,000 copies of the magazine, but the circulation was stopped when about 600 copies were already distributed," a DGIPR official said today.
The agency, however, informed DGIPR that all photographs in the magazine were taken from official websites.
After the magazine was published, it was brought to the government's notice that the photo in the article on Ambedkar was that of late Vilasrao Deshmukh, former chief minister.
"The circulation of the magazine was stopped. The agency owned up its mistake and is being penalised," the official said.
Big mistake by #Maharastra Govt. @MahaDGIPR magazine #MaharashtraAhead wrongly prints Congress Leader Late Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh's childhood pic as #DrAmbedkar's childhood pic. @INCMaharashtra @INCMumbai #Congress pic.twitter.com/jX5upLY6ey— Varsha Gaikwad (@VarshaEGaikwad) April 27, 2018
Meanwhile, former chief minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan criticised the "casual approach" of the BJP-led state government.
The faux pas was an insult to both Ambedkar and Deshmukh, he said.
"Both personalities are revered in Maharashtra and mixing them up is unforgivable," he said, adding that the English edition of the magazine was outsourced to an agency with no affinity to the culture of Maharashtra.
"Responsibility must be fixed and action must be taken or Fadnavis should himself take the blame as he heads the information and publicity department," Chavan said.
"Incidentally, the Marathi magazine 'Lokrajya' (also published by DGIPR) had the correct picture of Ambedkar," he added.