(Published in The Millennium Post on 14 June 2012, retrieved from http://millenniumpost.in/NewsContent.aspx?NID=3960)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has demanded that the cartoon spoofing the anti-Hindi agitation must be removed from the NCERT Class 12 Political Science textbook.
The issue was first raked up by MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, who sent a letter addressed to Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal and NCERT director Professor Parvin Sinclair last Friday, complaining that the caricature belittles the Tamilians who took part in the agitation.
The sketch, drawn by R K Laxman, portrays an angry student hurling a stone at a board that reads “Assurances: No Hindi! English to continue! No compulsion to learn Hindi. No Hindi! English forever! Etc. Etc.” Bewildered passersby reason, “The boy can’t read English either.”
The drawing accompanies a chapter that speaks of the Dravidian Movement spearheaded by E V Ramaswamy, who is known as ‘Periyar’ in the Dravida ranks.
DMK chief Karunanidhi has also condemned the cartoon, and the MDMK held a rally at the Chennai Memorial Hall on Monday to lodge its protest.
Now, Jayalalithaa, who belongs to the ADMK, has agreed with the other Dravida parties’ claim that the cartoon distorts history.
“It is insulting to Periyaar and Annadurai, who were at the forefront of the Hindi agitation,” Jayalalithaa said, “The best way to portray what happened at the time would be through photographs from archives, and not cartoons. This cartoon will hurt the sentiments of Tamils, and should be removed.”