Our esteemed Parliamentarians, cutting across party lines, have called for the removal of a cartoon, which is "offensive" in their minds, because they think that impressionable young minds will carry a negative impression of politicians. Will they stop there?
The logical follow up is to ban all political cartoons and legislate deterrent punishments if the sentiments of any politician, living or dead, are hurt. All it requires is for a politician to say he is hurt; that is sufficient evidence to lock up the errant cartoonist and throw away the key.
The next step is to ban live telecasts of Lok and Rajya Sabha proceedings; just imagine what the young minds will think of honourable members behaving in a highly undisciplined manner, throwing chairs and breaking mikes, tearing papers, storming the wells, speaking out of turn. The best of the lot are probably sleeping blissfully or absorbed in their iPads or iPhones or whatever. But of course, the honourable members are lawmakers and hence cannot be subject to laws made by them. They are beyond the pale of law.
What next? Television debates in which politicians behave in an undignified manner, blatantly lie and rant? What about news bulletins which repeat ad nauseum about astronomical sums of unaccountedmoney being discovered, scams tumbling out into the open with amazing frequency, honourable lawmakers caught in flagrante delicto and so on?
What about history? Wipe out all references to the invasion of India, the riots, the acts of terrorism......history should be sanitised so that impressionable minds have a picture of the real world, a world inhabited by honest, altruistic politicians with halos, a world full of peace and tolerance.
Surely, the world is not as bad a place as the evil media portraits it. Amen.
Please have a look at www.outlookindia.com/feedbacks.aspx where I have shown how through cartoons the authors have explained the draw backs in the constitution making for European Union and Iraq and how the making of Indian Constitution was more deliberate and mature and hence time consuming. Please read the above posting atleast if you can not be expected to go through the text books.
"Can someone explain why it is insulting to Ambedkar ? "
It is not about insults but appropriateness. Such cartoons need not be included in NCERT books. Evaluating and criticizing Ambedkar is fair game but school students need not do it.
In this specific instance, the issue of who is responsible for the delay is a good question to analyze for BA History students. Not for school students.
I checked this cartoon again and I did not find anything wrong with it. It is a commentary on slow pace of constitution. Both Nehru and Ambedkar are trying to move this forward as fast as they can. Ambedkar is riding the snail because he was part of the team that wrote constitution. So it actually talks about efforts of both Ambedkar and Nehru to move this forward. I really donot understand the fuss about it. Can someone explain why it is insulting to Ambedkar ?
After reading this news item and a reproduction of the cartoon and the accompanied text I wonder if it is the same country India where I was born and brought up! Even when Mrs. Gandhi was in power, cartoons were integral part of Indian newspapers and I don't remember politicians objecting to cartoons. In fact cartoons often communicate a critical issue much better using humor. It appears Indian politicians were better educated in the past. Currently India is run by the semi literate leaders who lack the basic comprehension skills- forget about sense of humor-
This cartoon was published in 1949. Only the jaundiced eyed morons can take objection at this cartoon which was a funny take on the snail's pace of drafting India's constitution. With Ambedkar riding the snail with a flog in his hand and Nehru standing behind holding another , it was a great take on the two leaders trying desperately to move the drafting process. Obviously it reflects the contemporary criticism that the drafting was taking too much time. As our experience would show in the next six decades the constitution of India has proven its resilience through the test to times. The contemporary criticism of a slow drafting process was found misplaced given the effectiveness of the constitution to promote and strengthen democracy in India.
However, when people talk of deleting a dated cartoon from a text book originally published decades ago they hurt the same democracy that Ambedkar himself tried to defend as an architect of India's constitution.
Sorry Sanket Biswas, I can't see Nehru or anybody insulting Ambedkar in this cartoon. But then, you have jaundiced eyes. You only read Bramhinical last names of Bengal's leaders Buddhadev and Mamata to form your opinion about CPM and Trinamul Congress.
Nehru and Ambedkar must be turning in their eternal resting place hearing the quality of issue debated in the parliament. I can imagine Ambedkar would have burst into a hearty laughter seeing reaction of modern Indians to a cartoon of his times.