End of Lalu chapter in Bihar’s Hindi text book

via PTI published on January 10, 2008

PATNA: A chapter on Railway minister Lalu Prasad, which was in the eye of a controversy ever since its inception, has finally been excluded from the Hindi text book taught to class VIII students of government schools in Bihar.

The chapter Mitti ke Gaurav, loosely translated as The Pride of the Land, was part of the Hindi prose text book Gadya Sopan since 1994.

“We have decided to strike off the entire chapter, which also included the lives of former state chief ministers Bhola Paswan Shastri and Karpoori Thakur as the stature of these leaders was not exalted enough to be included in the academic curriculum,” Principal Secretary of the Human Resource Development Department Anjani Kumar Singh said.

The chapter recounted how these personalities rose to become chief ministers of the state.

“Instead, the department is now examining a proposal to replace it with an account of the life of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, the great Dalit reformer,” Singh said.

Asked when the revised edition of the book would be formally introduced, he said it would be available when the next academic session started in April this year.

The chapter was penned by a Bihar administrative service officer Harivansh Narayan, whom the NDA, then in the opposition, alleged was close to Lalu.

Narayan’s prose had found place alongside noted Hindi writers including legendary Munshi Premchand, Phanishwarnath Renu, Mahadevi Verma and Nirmal Verma.

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