Damdami Taksal seeks removal of ‘terrorist’ tag on Bhindranwale in Maharashtra textbook

Taksal head writes to Fadnavis govt, threatening to take the matter to court if it does not respond in 15 days after receipt of his letter

punjab Updated: Jul 18, 2017 09:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Damdami Taksal,Bhindranwale
Representative Image

Taking strong exception to description of militant preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as a “terrorist” in history textbook of Class 9 in Maharashtra, the Damdami Taksal has written to the Devendra Fadnavis government seeking removal of the “misleading” tag.

Damdami Taksal is a Sikh seminary, which was headed by Bhindranwale before he was killed in the Operation Bluestar conducted by the army in June 1984 at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where several militants were holed up.

In a letter to chief minister Fadnavis, Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma said, “We have received complaints along with the copies of the extract from the ‘History & Political Science’ textbook of class IX on Page number 6 and 10 in which your department has mentioned Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale as a terrorist.”

Seeking a ‘clarification” in this regard, the letter says, “We request your good self to interfere in this sensitive issue so that this matter is brought to a righteous (sic) end at the earliest.”

The Taksal has also written similar letters to Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde and director of the Maharashtra State Bureau of Text Book Production and Curriculum Research, Pune, Sunil Magar.

“We strongly condemn this wanton and irresponsible act by your department for disseminating sensitive information to impressionable minds of school students that would put the Sikh community in poor light and spread hatred specifically against the Sikh students in Maharashtra,” the letter reads.

Dhumma also sought to know “the source of information, which could be considered as reliable enough and verified by your department, on the basis of which this sensitive information is included in the Class IX syllabus.”

In a media release wherein he attached copies of his letters to Maharashta CM and the education minister, Dhumma said the Damdami Taksal has demanded a written reply from them within 15 days of the receipt of this letter, besides withdrawal of “objectionable material.”

He added, “If they fail to provide the required information on time, we will be compelled to take the matter to the court.”

He said the Taksal has also constituted a committee of Maharashtra-based Sikh leaders to pursue the case.

First Published: Jul 17, 2017 21:16 IST