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Congress seethes over graft slur on Rajiv Gandhi in Maharashtra textbook

A revised portion of the class 9 political science textbook says Rajiv Gandhi faced criticism over the Bofors scandal, and insinuates that the Congress

india Updated: Jul 28, 2017 22:41 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
Congress,Rajiv Gandhi,Maharashtra
Congress workers protest the mention of Rajiv Gandhi in the context of corruption while referring to the Bofors scandal in a political science textbook in Maharashtra.

The Congress demanded on Friday action against Maharashtra’s state-owned school textbook publishers and immediate withdrawal of a revised Class IX political science book that defames former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by calling him corrupt.

Publishers Bal Bharti came out with a reprint of the textbook in which portions of contemporary history were rewritten.

“Rajiv Gandhi faced a lot of criticism in the context of corruption that took place during a defence equipment deal, especially the purchase of long-range canons from a foreign company called Bofors,” says an extract from a chapter.

“Political corruption became a crucial issue in the general elections that followed and the Congress party was defeated.”

The lines triggered a controversy and the Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) sought an apology from state education minister Vinod Tawde.

Amir Nuri, the NSUI president for Nagpur, alleged that the defamatory references against the former Prime Minister are part of a ploy to malign those opposed to the Sangh Parivar’s communal politics.

He also accused the state’s BJP-led government and the party’s ideological mentor, the RSS, of trying to rewrite history and thrust their right-wing views into the education system.

The Congress’s student wing warned that it will launch statewide protests if the textbook is not withdrawn immediately and the state fails to apologise.

Congress workers staged a demonstration on Friday, burning an effigy of education minister Tawde and demanding his resignation.

First Published: Jul 28, 2017 22:41 IST