Uproar in Lok Sabha over Ambedkar cartoon

New Delhi, May 11: A cartoon on Dalit icon Dr. B.R. Ambedkar printed in an NCERT textbook created a storm in the Lok Sabha Friday with some members saying it was insulting and should be withdrawn.

The uproar, which began soon after the house met, led to the Lok Sabha being adjourned till noon.

The issue of the cartoon, which also features Jawaharlal Nehru and was published in the textbook for Class 11, was raised by Thol. Thirumavalavan of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal, a Tamil Nadu-based party.

He was supported by MPs cutting across party lines.

Thirumavalavan told the house that the cartoon was “insulting to Ambedkar, Nehru and the whole nation.”

He wanted the book withdrawn immediately and Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal to come to the house and make a statement on it.

Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee, responding to the issue, said the printing of the cartoon in the textbook was “totally wrong” and that he “entirely” agreed with the sentiments of all sections of the house.

He said it would not have been possible for the constitution to be ready in the short span of three years without the tireless work of Ambedkar.

Mukherjee also promised the house that he would ask Sibal to make a statement in the house on the issue.

However, the trouble continued, forcing Speaker Meira Kumar to adjourn the house till noon.

The cartoon in the textbook had triggered protests in Tamil Nadu Thursday. The cartoon, by renowned cartoonist Shankar, depicts Nehru, with a whip in his hand, chasing Ambedkar, who is seated on a snail. In the cartoon, Nehru is asking Ambedkar to speed up the work on the constitution.

IANS