Up­roar over ‘sex­ual de­sire’, ‘vir­gin­ity’ in book for kids

Mail Today - - NEWS - By Kam­lesh Damodar Su­tar in Mum­bai

THE Bharatiya Janata Party-led Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment keeps get­ting em­broiled in ed­u­ca­tion­re­lated con­tro­ver­sies.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties have slammed the pur­chase of the book Bal Nachiketa call­ing its con­tents ob­jec­tion­able and in­ap­pro­pri­ate for chil­dren.

Bal Nachiketa is part of the sup­ple­men­tary read­ing for chil­dren in classes 1 to 4 in gov­ern­ment schools. The book was bought for school li­braries.

Ac­cord­ing to the op­po­si­tion, the book has phrases like “loss of vir­gin­ity”, “phys­i­cal plea­sure”, “sex­ual de­sire”, which are un­suit­able for chil­dren.

The mytho­log­i­cal sto­ries in the book con­tain sen­tences like: “There are ex­am­ples of kings and Gods who have en­joyed phys­i­cal plea­sure with­out mar­ry­ing”.

“And they made love in the foggy night”.

In an­other story , Mat­sya­gandha while talk­ing to Rishi Parashar says, “Hey Rishi, who will ac­cept me af­ter I have lost my vir­gin­ity?”

In the same story, there are lines like “look­ing at the move­ments of her body Rishi Parashar was pos­sessed by sex­ual de­sires”, “he lust­fully caught her hand”. The story doesn’t end here as the op­po­si­tion has al­leged that the book which is avail­able in mar­ket for `20 was bought at the cost of `50.

The pub­lisher of the book Bhar­tiya Vichaar Sad­hana is con­sid­ered close to the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh (RSS), the par­ent or­gan­i­sa­tion of the BJP.

The state’s ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment had ear­lier re­ceived flak for its de­ci­sion to buy books on Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi at a cost of `59.42 lakh.

The books are meant for stu­dents in state schools as sup­ple­men­tary read­ing ma­te­rial.

The books on PM Modi in­clude 72,933 Marathi copies and 33 Gu­jarati copies of Chacha Choud­hary and Naren­dra Modi at `35 each. State school li­brary shelves will also have copies of the book Prad­han­mantri Naren­dra Modi pub­lished by Di­a­mond Pocket Books. The ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment has placed an or­der for 7,148 English copies as well as 424 Hindi copies of the book. The price? `35 per book. Also in the shop­ping cart will be 69,416 Marathi copies of the book Modi for `45 per copy.

The op­po­si­tion par­ties aren’t amused at the Ma­ha­rash­tra ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment’s over­drive in buy­ing books on Modi.

“Ear­lier PM Modi sat with a charkha on a khadi depart­ment’s cal­en­dar and likened him­self to Ma­hatma Gandhi. Now, with a book on Chacha Choud­hary and Modi, he’s try­ing to cre­ate the im­age of Chacha Modi like Chacha Nehru,” said Nawab Ma­lik, spokesper­son of the NCP.

Un­de­terred by the crit­i­cism the state gov­ern­ment has de­fended its de­ci­sion to splurge money on Modi ha­giogra­phies.

“The books have been solely bought on merit. There was an ex­pert com­mit­tee ap­pointed for the se­lec­tion of books,” said Vinod Tawde, ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter.

Last year the Ma­ha­rash­tra ed­u­ca­tion board ex­cised his­tory books of Mus­lim rule in India.

Phys­i­cal plea­sure & lust also among words used

The books are meant for stu­dents of classes 1 to 4.

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