1949: The above cartoon is originally published on 28 August 1949 in Shankar's Weekly
2006: It is included in an NCERT Textbook for Class XI, Indian Constitution at Work which was being taught without any change or controversy since then
2012 April: A controversy is raked up over the cartoon
2012 May 11: There is ruckus in Parliament. HRD minister Kapil Sibal "apologises" for the cartoon, calling it "objectionable" and says orders have been issued to withdraw it and stop distribution of these books. Mr Sibal goes on to say that the government will also examine whether any criminal offence was made out against those who drew or included the cartoon and also that there were many other "objectionable cartoons" of political leaders and that his ministry had decided to constitute a Committee of experts to look into cases of all such objectionable cartoons and remove them.
2012 May 11: Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar, Chief Advisers for all the Political Science textbooks of the NCERT from class IX to XII, resign to allow the "independent review process" pointing out "that the short, heated and not very well informed debate in the Parliament did not do justice to the responsibility that a democratic society has towards it future generations." They add: "While deferring to the supremacy of the Parliament we think it is our duty to dissent."
2012 May 12: The Pune campus office of Prof Suhas Palshikar is attacked and ransacked. A Republican Panther of India spokesman claims responsibility for the attack, saying the cartoon amounted to an "insult" to the Dalit icon.
Yogendra Yadav sums up the outrage of the nation: "For someone who has taught me Ambedkar, for him to be attacked in the name of Ambedkar...Nothing can be more farcical, tragic and sad then this."
Some reactions on Twitter:
[View the story "Cartoon Row: Suhas Palishkar's Office Ransacked" on Storify]
Indian >> Congress is diverting attention of public from their real crimes of corruption and non-performance.
I am amazed at the ability of Indian media (ever loyal to Delhi establishment) in creating issues from time to time that distract people (electorate) from the incompetence and corruption of UPA government. How is that they are so successful, so many times? Maybe it has to do with experience of ruling 57 years out of 65 years of independent India !
Tearful Onion >> I wish I could morph the cartoon with Mayawati as Nehru, Kapil Sibal as Ambedkar ,
I have a different take. The cartoon should be redone, with Sonia Gandhi in place of nehru and MMS in place of Ambedkar. The snail should be the various schemes aka scams that UPA has done/doing/will do to cheat public (like NREGA etc). The cheering audience should include likes of Barkha Dutt, rajdeep Sardesai, Vinod Mehta, Saba Naqvi and all other UPA supporting Journalists/media folks. But the whip alone sounds too purani. A pistol shoved on the head should be appropriate.
The very "scholars" who are at the receiving end of this row were in the happy position of railing against "saffornisation" of school text books not that long ago. I am not saying even for a moment that they have received their comeuppencesd or they are hoist on their own petard. Dr Yogender Yadava, a surname that is politically very inviting for sarkari patronage was in the fore front of the anti texr book movement during the NDA regime and probably earned the status of disciplinary demigods during theUPA regime as a consequence. I think Indian "academics" should not indulge in cheap political theatrics in order to curry favor with the political parties because whern the going gets tough they will be dumped like the two worthies we have.
Now the cartoon itself isd a histrical document dating to 1949 and was printed when Dr B R Ambedkar was alive. I do not think that a retrospective outrage can now be generated on the ground that Baba Saheb Ambedkar is now an icon. I think we should lear to look at history in its own terms without imposing a post facto gloss.
this is very unfortunate thing happening in India. India has become a laughing stock for the world. Congress is diverting attention of public from their real crimes of corruption and non-performance. It is very clear the people in current government cannot take care of themselves let alone the whole country. we must protest against all this stupidity and stop india becoming a laughing stock.