Remove Emergency and Bofors references from textbooks in Maharashtra: Opposition
Legislators alleged the state is trying to drive its political agenda by influencing educational materialUpdated: Aug 01, 2017 01:23 IST
The Opposition slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra government for mentioning the names of former Congress Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in state board history textbooks in reference to the Emergency and Bofors scam, respectively.
Legislators raised uproar in the state legislative council demanding the government delete these references and alleged the state government is trying to drive its political agenda by influencing educational material. Legislative Council chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar had to adjourn the house for 10 minutes for the chaos to die down.
Congress’ Sanjay Dutt who raised the issue in the upper house said, “The defamatory reference to former PM Indira Gandhi while mentioning the Emergency and Rajiv Gandhi about Bofors in the state school board’s history and political science textbook for Class 9 should be removed. This is the state government’s attempt to drive political influence and will not be tolerated.”
Legislators from the Congress as well as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supported the demand, saying there is little description of all significant achievements of Congress and NCP leaders in the textbooks.
State school education minister Vinod Tawde said the minister does not have any role in it and the textbooks are written by a committee of experts. “I don’t have the authority to scrap anything from textbooks or make changes. I will convey the sentiments of the house to the committee. There is absolutely no political interference,” Tawde said.
The BJP minister said it is unfair to say the government has omitted the description of significant achievements of Congress and NCP leaders. “The textbook has references to Indira Gandhi’s role in privatization of banks, creation of Bangladesh or Rajiv Gandhi’s approach in the conflict in Sri Lanka and so on,” he said.