The opposition and the ruling BJP locked horns in the Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly on Thursday after a book allegedly described Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse and demon king Ravana as “great persons” while another described Gond tribals as “cow killers” and “beef eaters”.
During zero hour on Thursday, leader of opposition Ajay Singh pointed out to speaker Dr Sitasharan Sharma that a book by Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism had highlighted Godse and Ravana as great persons.
On Wednesday, the opposition had cornered the government by raising the issue of wrong description of Gond tribals in a geography book meant for MA students in a college of Jabalpur. The government announced an inquiry into the matter and the book was withdrawn.
On Thursday, Ajay Singh said it was unfortunate that Godse was presented as a “Mahapurush” (great personality). Ravana too had been depicted as a great person.
At this, the speaker asked Singh to meet him in his chamber to discuss the issue.
However, later, former home minister Babulal Gaur who took the book from senior Congress leader Govind Singh said the leader of opposition had mentioned a wrong name. It was not Nathuram Godse but Nathuram Gond.
However, not many people across Indian may be able to recall the name of Nathuram Gond in the list of the great persons of the country.
Lajpat Ahuja, rector of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism, said Nathuram Gond was mentioned not in any book but in a research paper which might have been a result of some survey done by the researcher among tribals.
He, however, said they couldn’t find Ravana’s name in any of the books of the university.
The state assembly witnessed uproarious scenes on Wednesday over Gond tribals being allegedly described as cow killers and beef eaters in a book titled ‘Bharat ka bhoogol (Geography of India)’ for post-graduate students.
Ajay Singh demanded an apology from the state government, and action against officials responsible for inclusion of the book in the curriculum.
Ajay Singh waved a copy of the book, and said it was an insult to Madhya Pradesh. He alleged that the book also said Gonds ate flesh of several birds, animals and reptiles.
Talking to journalists, Ajay Singh later said it was an insult to the entire state, as two-thirds of Madhya Pradesh once happened to be part of Gondwana.
Official sources said the higher education department has issued notice to the principal of the Government Mahakoshal Arts and Commerce College in Jabalpur which had purchased the book for the college library.