The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Maharashtra has ordered nearly 1.5 lakh books on Prime Minister Narendra Modi that will be supplied to the state government-run schools by this month-end, reported PTI. The order was placed last month and will be used as a supplementary reading material for students from class 1 to 8.
“The order also includes purchase of books on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr B R Ambedkar but their number is lesser than that of the Modi books,” an official from state education department said.
While 1,49,954 books on PM Modi have been ordered, only 4,343 books have been ordered on Mahatma Gandhi. The purchase order further states that just 1,635 books on India’s first Prime Minister and Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru have been ordered. The list also includes 79,388 books on B R Ambedkar and 76,713 books on BJP leader and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
However, with 3,40,982 books, the bulk of the order was placed for Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. And 3,21,328 books on former president and renowned scientist APJ Abdul Kalam have been ordered. All the orders are being purchased from private publishers, the official added.
State education minister Vinod Tawde said that transparency has been maintained while making the purchase order. “An expert committee has recommended the books and the order has been placed according to these recommendations,” he added.
The books are available in Marathi, Hindi, English and Gujarati languages and are being purchased under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a programme for universalisation of elementary education.
The Opposition, meanwhile, hit out at the state government, accusing it of indulging in self-praise and making attempts to hide its own “black past.” Reacting to the order, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan said, “The BJP is indulging in such acts out of sheer intellectual frustration and hatred. Their own organisation has a black history. BJP leaders need physiatric treatment.”
“The government has tried to remove names of leaders who sacrificed for the country, and is spending money on the books of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, who made no contribution to the country,” Chavan alleged.
Accusing the BJP of distorting history by maligning tall figures, Chavan asked how the party planned to remove the names of these leaders from the hearts of the people.
(With inputs from PTI)