Updated: December 6, 2021 4:54:08 pm
After an image of a painting of angel Gabriel bringing revelation to the Prophet Muhammad, published in a school textbook, sparked outrage in Kashmir, J-K’s Board of School Education has asked schools in the Valley to withdraw the book from the syllabus. The District Magistrate of Srinagar also asked the police to register an FIR against the book’s Delhi-based publisher which has apologised for the “error”.
On Sunday, a social media campaign was launched against Jay Cee publications, the publisher of the ‘History and Civics’ book for class VII, which is taught in several schools of Kashmir. A chapter of the book’s 2020 edition includes an image depicting Gabriel bringing revelation to the Prophet.
As the depiction of the Prophet is forbidden in Islam and is seen as sacrilegious, the publication of the image in the textbook led to public anger, with locals demanding immediate withdrawal of the book while calling for action against the publisher for “hurting the sentiments of the Muslims”.
While a social media campaign was launched against the publisher on Sunday, the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government feared that it may lead to street protests in the Valley. Fearing trouble, the District Magistrate, Srinagar, wrote to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), asking him to file an FIR against the Jay Cee Publications for “publication of content of sensitive nature”. The police have been asked to take “stern action” against the publisher as well as the distributor of the book.
The J-K’s Board of School Education has directed all the schools of J&K and Ladakh “not to use” the textbook in their school syllabus. “If the textbook is being used in any school, it must be withdrawn immediately. Otherwise strict action as warranted under the provisions of law shall be initiated,” the Board said. It also asked the publisher to withdraw the book from the market “in spite of the publishing house having regretted the mistake made by them”.
In their apology letter, director of Jay Cee Publications J C Goyal said that the publication of the picture was an “unintentional mistake” due to “lack of knowledge about prohibition of picturisation of Islam”.
“We as a whole team of Jay Cee Publications Pvt Ltd apologise and highly regret for the inconvenience thus caused to our respected brothers and friends, We also promise and assure all of our brothers and friends that the mistake will not be repeated in future editions,” the publisher’s letter stated.
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