Bhubaneswar, Nov 16 : Odisha government has withdrawn the booklet distributed in school attributing the death of Mahatma Gandhi as an ‘accidental sequence of events'. Making a statement in the Assembly, School and Mass Education Minister Sameer Ranjan Dash today said the two page booklet that describing the death of Mahamta Gandhi as an accidental sequence was unintended.
The Minister said the government had no intention to give any wrong information, mislead the children or to distort fact adding that it was unintended.
Mr.Dash made the statement in the house on the direction of the Speaker S N Patro. The Speaker gave the direction yesterday after several Congress members condemned the text of the booklet and demanded an apology from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The Minister in his statement today said the School and Mass education department had taken a decision to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of father of the Nationa Mahatma Gandhi from October 2, 2018 to October 2, 2019.
Accordingly debate, drawing, quiz competition were held among the children. In the district level exhibition, drama and seminar were held on ‘’Ahimsa : Gandhiji’s vision and its Relevance today.’’
This part a decision was taken to distribute a two page booklet on Aama Bapuji: Eka Jhalaka (Our Bapuji: A Glimpse)’.
The soft copy of the booklet was sent to District Education Officer, District Project Coordinator and Block Development Officer and direction was given to publish it in district level and distribute it among the students.
Many fact on the life of Ganhiji such as his childhood, study, Gandhiji and Odisha are depicted in the booklet . The booklet also contains four photographs of Gandhiji and his views on Odisha. The booklet which mentioned that Gandhiji died at the Birla House in New
Delhi on January 30, 1948 due to “accidental sequence of events" had triggered a major controversy and figured in the Odisha Assembly ”.
Mr Dash said the government has already withdrawn the booklet as a mark of respect to the concern of the house. He said the officials responsible for the lapses have been removed from the post and show cause notice was issued to two other officers. The minister said the booklet would be distributed among the students within one month after making the necessary correction and re printing.
Several members in the house yesterday expressed grave concern over the misrepresentation of fact and demanded a clarification on the issue from the government.
Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra described it as an insult to the father of nation. He held the Chief Minister responsible for the lapses and demanded to stop its circulation immediately.
The Congress leader said if it is done unknowingly, the Chief Minister should tender apology to the people for the mistake and withdraw the book let . He even demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister said if it is done deliberately and said the house should condemn it. (UNI)