Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Minister Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya on Thursday presented the findings of a committee constituted by Jabalpur University at the instance of the state government after it received a complaint against the book “Bharat Ka Bhoogol” that claimed the word ‘Gond’ in Gondi language translated as “one who kills cows’’ or “one who eats beef”.’
“During the British regime Gonds were described as Sarvabhakshi (those who eat everything). Based on this description British writers added a word they found useful for their policy of imperialism. British scholars, who were either government officers or priests trained in conversion, were committed to successfully implement the policy that aimed at proving tribals as non-Hindus that made conversion (to Christianity) easy. They used to include everything in their literature that proved tribals were not Hindus. Eating of beef was one such falsehood,” Pawaiya read out in the Assembly.
Pawaiya said the university had worked hard to remove misconceptions about tribals that stemmed from the British imperialistic tendency. He said a letter has been written to the Inspector General of Police and Bhopal Collector to initiate legal proceedings against the publisher for printing a book with factually wrong information that has “disturbed social harmony”.
The minister said misconceptions (like beef-eating habits) had been removed and reiterated that the book had neither been endorsed by the syllabus committee nor included in the suggestive list for any subject. The principal of Mahakoshal Arts and Commerce College had been suspended for purchasing the book and that the book and the writer, Harish Kumar Khatri, had been blacklisted, he added.