Self-styled godman Asaram, an accused in a rape case, has been listed among 'greatest saints of India' in a class III NCERT book in Jodhpur.
On page 40 of book ‘Naya Ujala’, Asaram has been described as a saint who has done yeoman services for the betterment and purification of Hindu society and religion.
Jodhpur, Rajasthan: Class 3 book shows Asaram as a Saint in a list of 'Country's famous saints'. pic.twitter.com/48TO2DoHcu— ANI (@ANI_news) August 2, 2015
People expressed displeasure over inclusion of Asaram's name in the book, describing the attitude of NCERT officials 'callous and brazen'
"The editorial board should be held accountable for such negligence," said Anurag Bhargav, a senior secondary school teacher in Ajmer.
"The inclusion of rape charge tainted man in their books clearly expose how serious are NCERT people while selecting teaching materials for our children," Bhargav added. "What kind of moral teaching the NCERT people wants to give to our children by teaching them about a ‘rapist’," he questioned.
Minister of state for education Vasudev Devnani said he is not aware about the contents of the book and assured that appropriate action will be taken.
The publisher of the book Rakesh Agrawal said the book edition is five years old and added ‘no place would be given to Asaram’s photo’ in the new edition.
When the book was published, no case was lodged against Asaram, he said.
Meanwhile, Youth Congress activists staged a protest and warned that they would intensify their agitation if books were not taken back.
Asaram is lodged in a jail in Jodhpur since September 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl in one of his ashrams.