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Sikhs in California want textbook changed

Sikh leaders in California are unhappy that a seventh grade history book has been published without a photo of Guru Nanak, the founder of their religion.

world Updated: Jul 13, 2007 16:30 IST

Sikh leaders in California are unhappy that a seventh grade history book has been published without a photo of Guru Nanak, the founder of their religion.

The California State Board of Education declined to act on Thursday on new complaints from the community, who now want to see their religion's founder in textbooks - portrayed in the way they believe he looked.

They suggested images of Guru Nanak with a flowing beard and a white turban, but the publisher rejected them.

In March, Sikhs had convinced the education board to stop publishing textbooks with a picture of Guru Nanak that they found too offensive, Sacramento Bee reported.

The publisher of the book, Oxford University Press, pulled out the roughly 500 copies of "An Age of Voyages: 1350-1600" and ordered a reprint, but without any image of Guru Nanak.

"To eliminate the picture of Guru Nanak without replacing it is really sheer injustice," said Onkar Bindra, a Sacramento Sikh who has been leading the opposition against the textbook.

He and about a dozen other Sikhs shared their concerns on Thursday with the state Board of Education.

They also said the book refers to Guru Nanak with the Hindi title 'Devi' - which is supposed to be used only for women.