Criticising the cartoon on anti-Hindi agitation in NCERT textbook for “hurting” the sentiments of Tamils, chief minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday joined the chorus demanding its removal.
“The Dravidian movement should have been explained to students using photographs of that era as they would be the best tool for this purpose and instead carrying a cartoon saying the Tamil student was not required to study Hindi and that he was ignorant towards English has hurt the sentiments of Tamil people,” she said in a statement in Chennai.
Further, it was “not acceptable” that Tamil students opposed to imposition of Hindi took to violence, she said, adding, Dravidian veteran CN Annadurai had insisted that Tamils were neither subservient to others nor aimed at making others subservient to them.
“It (publication of the cartoon) not only amounts to demean the anti-Hindi movement but also seems to insult Annadurai and (EV Ramasamy) Periar who led the protests. The cartoon, originally published to explain the intensity and importance of the movement, has assumed contradictory proportions (in the textbook).”
“It is regrettable that a cartoon hurting the Tamils’ sentiments has been published. I strongly condemn it. I urge the Centre to immediately remove it from the textbooks,” she demanded.
Earlier, Dravidian parties including ruling UPA constituent DMK and MDMK had demanded the removal of the cartoon even as Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had announced forming a committee to review the Classes IX- XII Social Science and Political Science textbooks of NCERT after the row erupted.