Yet another textbook in a CBSE school has sparked a controversy by allegedly insinuating that non-vegetarians lie, cheat and commit crimes, with the government terming it as "unfortunate" and asking state bodies to remain alert about such content and monitor them.
"Sensitivities of communities have to be kept in mind. I think its unfortunate, an occasional aberration happens. But what I would request is that the state body should always be on alert just like how NCERT is on alert and monitor the content... that is what we can advocate from this ministry," HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju told reporters while replying to queries on the Class VI textbook.
CBSE on the other hand said they prescribe textbook only from class IX onwards and it is the school which decides on which books to prescribe for students in other classes.
The minister's reaction came after media reports highlighted the content of the textbook of a CBSE school. The book titled New Healthway: Health, Hygiene, Physiology, Safety, Sex Education, Games and Exercises reportedly said that non-vegetarians "easily cheat, tell lies, they forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes."
The development came clsoe on the heels of the ministry asking NCERT to present a report about some "objectionable" references in a CBSE textbook about Nadar community in Tamil Nadu.
State chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday demanded removal of "objectionable" references in a letter to the prime minister. Ministry officials, however, said that Raju, who had earlier received representations in this regard, has already asked NCERT for a report soon. The NCERT textbook committee is currently examining the issue.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the chief minister said the "incorrect" details in the textbook of class IX were "very misleading and may leave a wrong impression in the minds of the students" about the community.
"The Nadars are said to be descendants of those who ruled the Cheran, Cholan and Pandyan kingdoms... the Nadar community is not a lower caste as mentioned in the CBSE book. Rather, they have been rulers of South India at one point of time", the chief minister said.