Just as the dust raised over Shankar’s cartoon on B R Ambedkar, published in a CBSE textbook, is settling down, the NCERT came under fresh attack on Friday for yet another cartoon by R K Lakshman, printed in the political science textbook for Class XII, with MDMK general secretary Vaiko saying that it presented a distorted picture of the 1965 anti-Hindi movement in Tamil Nadu.
The cartoon appears in page 153 with a lesson, Politics in India since Independence, which gives a glimpse about the Dravidian movement and the political agitations of the DMK. It depicts a blackboard in which Congress leader R Rajagopalachary has written assurances that there will be no Hindi when a youth pelts stones on the board and a Congressman says: “The boy can’t read English either”.
Vaiko, in his letters to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and NCERT Director Prof Sinclair, said the stir was a glorious chapter of Tamil Nadu political history, but the cartoon depicted the students, who took part in the agitation, as ignorant and violent. “This is total distortion of history and hurts the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu, maligning the Dravidian movement. The cartoon should be removed to honour the emotions of the TN people,” he said.