New Delhi: Speaking to CNN-IBN, Prakash Ambedkar, who is the grandson of BR Ambedkar, said, “The cartoon represented the year 1949 when Ambedkar himself was alive. I have not come across an incident when he was opposed to the whole thing.”However, Prakash has said that Ambedkar wouldn’t have opposed the cartoon.
Earlier on Friday, Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal apologised over the cartoon, after Dalit MPs protested over the matter in Parliament.
Kapil Sibal said, “The text book that contains this cartoon will not be distributed further. We have great respect for Baba Saheb Ambedkar. There cannot be any attempt to malign his image.”
He added, “This is not a political issue. I personally apologise to the people on the matter though I was not involved and not the minister in 2006 when the cartoon came in the books. We have no intention to hurt the sentiments of any community.”
Following the uproar over the controversial cartoon picture of BR Ambedkar in a textbook, NCERT advisors Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar resigned on Friday. Yadav and Palshikar were chief advisors for political science at the NCERT.
Sources said the cartoon used in the class XI social science textbook ‘Indian Constitution at Work’ was actually sketched back in 1948 by Keshav Shankar Pillai, when the framing of the constitution was on, to show how the process was slow.
Meanwhile, the NCERT has also withdrawn the cartoon from the textbooks.
Sibal further said that the issue had come to his notice in April and an order had been sent to the NCERT regarding the same. “There were many other cartoons in the NCERT books that were not sending the right message to the children,” he added.