The book provided for students of first year Political Science in Tamil Nadu Open University contains incendiary and communal remarks about Muslims.

Tamil Nadu Minister for Higher Education K Ponmudy addressing a gathering wearing gloves and mask pulled downFile Image
news Education Friday, May 21, 2021 - 16:01

The government of Tamil Nadu has initiated investigation against the Vice Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU) and the author of the textbook for first year Political Science students containing incendiary content. State Minister for Higher Education K Ponmudy read out a few portions from the book which made remarks about Muslims being allegedly made a vote bank as well as other communal statements.

Speaking to the reporters, K Ponmudy read out a portion of the textbook for first year Political Science students at TNOU. The content can be found on page 142 of the textbook, he said, and read out, “Many Indian political parties, especially those against religion like the DMK and the communist parties are converting them (Muslims) into vote banks. They (the parties) are preventing them (Muslims) from integrating into the national path. They (parties) encourage minorities blindly. When Muslims cause riots and violence, these parties don’t condemn that.” The minister then questioned, “Is this something that should be there in a political science textbook? Is this something that should be there in a history book?”

Adding that the Vice Chancellor of the university, the Head of the Political Science Department and the author of the textbook couldn’t provide any answers as to why such content was being given to the students, Ponmudy said that action will be taken on everybody involved in this matter. He added that a committee will be set up to review all textbooks of the correspondence courses conducted by all universities in the state to ascertain if such content is being printed as education material. 

Another Twitter user, on Thursday also pointed out similar communal portions present in the same textbook with images of the same. The Twitter user said a portion on page 141 read, “Religious conversions affect the relationships between Hindus and Muslims and Hindus and Christians.” On page 140, the book speaks about religious riots and tries to explain the 1992 Babri Masjid riot and the 2002 Godhra incident. “As a whole, both the Hindus and the Muslims were equally affected by these riots,” the book adds. The book further claims that, “Muslims have terrorist principles even after the partition and that they should understand that India is a pluralistic country and any terrorism based on religion is not in accordance with it.”

Ponmudy assured that the new committee will peruse the contents of the textbooks and rewrite wherever necessary.

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