New Delhi : A day after MPs cutting across party lines, condemned the use of cartoons in school textbooks, the Union Home ministry has provided HRD minister Kapil Sibal with a dossier of objectionable cartoons.
“My officers have burnt the midnight oil in preparing this dossier. It is as big as the one we gave to Pakistan post 26/11. That should give you an idea of the significance we attach to the exercise. It contains all such political cartoons that children of impressionable age should not see,” said Home minister P Chidambaram.
However, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, in a spirited speech, pointed out that Chidambaram had included only those cartoons that made fun of him and his son, Karti Chidambaram.
“Stab a dagger in my heart but don’t question my integrity,” said an emotional Chidambaram. “No member of my family, repeat, no member of my family is featured in any of the objectionable cartoons which have been submitted to the HRD ministry.”
Outside Parliament, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said ballpark figures indicate there were more cartoons drawn of the BJP leaders than the Congress MPs. “It shows the basic character of our good friends in the BJP that they are essentially lampoonable from head to toe,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kapil Sibal has decided to take matters into his own hands at NCERT. The minister has decided to prepare material for all textbooks himself, with help from a committee that will consist of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, BSP chief Mayawati and CPI leader D Raja.
Sources in the government also indicate that to show the government means business, the government is considering making Prof Yogendra Yadav, who included the cartoons in the class XI political science textbook, write his class XI exam again.
“Let him realise it is no joke to include cartoons in textbooks,” said a ruling party MP.
The government has also agreed in principle that Amul ads make fun of politicians and is contemplating declaring `buttering’ an anti-national activity. Laughter clubs too could come under the ban list as Indians have been found to waste too much time laughing. The Information and Broadcasting ministry has also been asked to instruct TV channels to air `Comedy Circus’ only after 11 pm.