Withdraw controversial history book from DU syllabus:BJP

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (UNI) The Delhi Legislative Assembly was today thrown into pandemonium with the BJP members demanding withdrawl of the controversial book 'Culture in India- Ancient' from the Delhi University history syllabus for what they described as its derogatory references to Hindu God Ram and his wife Sita.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Assembly through a Special Mention under Rule 280, Leader of Opposition in the House Jagdish Mukhi said, ''the book 'Culture in India: Ancient' compiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's daughter Upinder Singh and being taught as part of the syllabus of BA (Honours) second year, contained derogatory references to the Hindu Gold Ram, his wife Sita and Lord Hanuman.

''Whatever is being taught in the book constitutes an attempt to play with the sentiments of the Hindus not only in India but of the entire world. The book is an attempt to spread a false propaganda against revered Hindu Gods Ram, Sita, Lakshaman and Hanuman,''Dr Mukhi. He demanded that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit hold a meeting on the issue with the Delhi University Vice Chancellor Deepak Paintal and the Human Resource Development Ministry to ensure that the book was immediately withdrawn from the syllabus.

Immediately, BJP members were up on their feet, demanding the withdrawal of the book and a statement by the Chief Minister.

''Ramayan is a symbol of our culture and we cannot allow anyone to misinterpret it and make derogatory references to the revered Gods of the Hindus,'' the BJP members said.

Shouting slogans like 'Bhagwan Ram Ka Apman Nahi Sahenge', the Opposition disrupted the proceedings of the House.

Despite Speaker Prem Singh making a statement directing the Chief Minister to probe the matter, the Opposition continued with their uproar.

When the uproar did not subside despite the pleas of the Speaker, BJP memebrs Subhash Sachdeva, Harsharan Singh Balli, Sushil Chaudhry and Kulwant Rana were taken out of the House by the marshals.

Later, all BJP members staged a walkout in protest against the lack of a statement from the Chief Minister over the issue.

Addressing newspersons later, Dr Mukhi said,''what has been written in the book with regard to Lord Ram, Sita, Hanuman and Lakshman will not be tolerated by the Hindus of this country. We, on our part, will not rest till this book is withdrawn from the syllabus of the Delhi University.

We will approach the Human Resource Development Ministry, the Prime Minister, the President and, if need be, even the courts. But we will not allow falsehoods to be dished out to the youth of the country about the revered Gods of Hindus through the book.'' He said they would also demand that action be taken against all those responsible for bringing the book in circulation.

'Culture in India: Ancient' has been prescribed for reading for concurrent course for BA (Honours) Second Year students of the Delhi University.

UNI AR AKJ KN1841

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