SRINAGAR—Shock, anger, and outrage have gripped Jammu and Kashmir after Delhi-based Jay Cee Publications included objectionable content against Prophet Muhammad in Class VII’s history and civics’ textbook.
Sensing trouble, the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) banned the textbook and directed all schools of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to withdraw it immediately. A case was also registered against the publisher and distributor of the textbook.
“All the schools of UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh affiliated either with CBSE, JKBOSE or any other Board of the country are directed not to use the textbook of `History & Civics’, Edition, 2020 for class 7th published by JAY CEE PUBLICATIONS Pvt Ltd., New Delhi. If the textbook is being used in any school, it must be withdrawn immediately. Otherwise, strict action as warranted under provisions of law shall be initiated”, Director Academics, BOSE, said in a notification.
Islamic Fraternity of Jammu and Kashmir said publishing the objectionable content was a conspiracy against the Muslim community.
President of the fraternity, Mohammad Amir, said the conspiracy got exposed well before the time. “Such acts have become so frequent, but this has happened for the first time in Kashmir valley, and we won’t stay silent on this. The publisher has not honoured our Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) even once in this textbook. They have directly mentioned Mohammad only,” he said.
He appealed to the distributors and the booksellers to withdraw the books. “We also request the Private School Associations and parents to blacklist the publisher,” Amir said.
Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) constituted a high-level committee to check all books and asked all institutions to refrain from introducing any new book before getting it approved by the expert committee.
PSAJK also held a meeting with all prominent publishers wherein everyone was advised to check every book before releasing it to the schools.
Proprietor of Paradise Book House, which is also one of the dealers of the Jay Cee Publishers, while condemning the publication of the content, said that they had not brought or supplied the book.
However, the Association said that the situation demands much more action than mere apologies. The Association hailed the government for taking prompt action in this regard.
“When it comes to books and written material, there should be no room for complacency. Every stakeholder should check every word before introducing and teaching the same to students,” said GN Var, President PSAJK.