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Ambedkar cartoon row: Education advisors resign

May 11, 2012 07:21 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: Following the uproar over the controversial cartoon picture of BR Ambedkar in a textbook, NCERT advisors Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar resigned on Friday. Yadav and Palshikar were chief advisors for political science at the NCERT.

Defending the move, Yadav said "it's a travesty to my mind to read a cartoon in such a manner".

"The heated and not very well informed debate in the Parliament did not do justice to the responsibility that a democratic society has towards it future generations," he said.

This came hours after Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal apologised over the cartoon, after Dalit MPs protested over the matter in Parliament.

Kapil Sibal said, "The text book that contains this cartoon will not be distributed further. We have great respect for Baba Saheb Ambedkar. There cannot be any attempt to malign his image."

He added, "This is not a political issue. I personally apologise to the people on the matter though I was not involved and not the minister in 2006 when the cartoon came in the books. We have no intention to hurt the sentiments of any community."

Sibal further said that the issue had come to his notice in April and an order had been sent to the NCERT regarding the same. "There were many other cartoons in the NCERT books that were not sending the right message to the children," he added.

Sources said the cartoon used in the class XI social science textbook 'Indian Constitution at Work' was actually sketched back in 1948 by Keshav Shankar Pillai, when the framing of the constitution was on, to show how the process was slow.

(With Additional Inputs from PTI)