Handbook Smriti Irani mentioned, withdrawn after Shiv Sena’s objection: Archbishop

, 5:47 PM IST

Father Nigel Barrett, a spokesperson of Mumbai Archibishop Oswald Gracias on Saturday said that the Don Bosco School in Matunga had withdrawn a handbook for Class IV students which had mentioned the great Maharashtrian warrior Shivaji as Dalit after the Shiv Sena had raised objections to it.

“I think Don Bosco has been emphatic in saying that they used it as an experiment, it was used for one year and they withdrew it immediately after there were objections to some of the contents especially, with the context from the Shiv Sena objected to some of the lines with the great Maharashtrian warrior Shivaji,” Father Barret told ANI.

Father Barret further said that it was unfortunate that this issue was never raised in Parliament.

“I think Irani wanted to illustrate the point as to how under the previous regime textbooks were used as a means to create a one zone agenda,” he added.

Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani had earlier made an allegation criticising the Don Bosco School, Matunga, for using a handbook for Class IV history teachers authored by activist Teesta Setalvad.

After being criticised by opposition leaders for the manner in which the BJP government treated students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for ‘anti-national’ activities, Irani flashed the handbook and quoted from it, claiming it created differences between students on religious and caste grounds.

According to a leading daily, school has denied administration of Don Bosco Boys School, the controversial handbook was discontinued long ago.