Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has condemned the anti-Hindi agitation cartoon and demanded its immediate removal, saying that projecting the anti-Hindi agitation as "violence" is simply unacceptable. She also said that the cartoon suggesting that Tamil students did not understand English hurt Tamil sentiment. There has been a row in Tamil Nadu against a cartoon on the anti-Hindi agitation of 1965, featured in the NCERT textbooks.
"Projecting anti-Hindi agitation as violence is unacceptable. To suggest that Tamil students did not understand English hurts Tamil sentiment," she said.
Earlier, the government on Tuesday said the panel set up last month to review political science textbooks containing BR Ambedkar's cartoon is also examining "inappropriate material" on Tamil movement.
Just as the recent Ambedkar cartoon row, a sketch on the issue of anti-Hindi agitation in Tamil Nadu in the 60s in a NCERT class XII text book has created a storm in the state with key UPA ally DMK demanding its removal and other parties joining the chorus.
In a statement, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said the NCERT has already constituted a committee on May 14 to review the classes IX , XII Social Science/Political Science textbooks of NCERT from the point of view of identifying educationally inappropriate material in them and to provide suggestions for alternatives to be placed in the textbooks.
"This issue (cartoon on anti-Hindi movement in the NCERT text books) is also being examined by the committee as a part of the exercise undertaken by the committee" constituted under the chairmanship of SK Thorat, Chairman, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Sibal, who is in Washington, said.
The piece by renowned cartoonist RK Laxman printed in the class XII political science book is seen by the Dravidian parties as showing the student agitators against Hindi in 1965 in a poor light.
DMK Chief Karunanidhi had asked the Centre to immediately remove the cartoons from the textbooks saying that the 1938 and 1965 anti-Hindi agitations are moments of pride for the party.