Himachal schools junk Husain lesson

Painter MF Husain is "irrelevant" in Himachal Pradesh and "does not inspire" its schoolchildren. So, the BJP government in the state has decided to do away with a chapter on the painter in the class XI Hindi book prescribed by the NCERT.

The decision was taken on the recommendation of a committee constituted by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education to study the contents of the NCERT book.

Board chairman Chaman Lal Gupta said the chapter on Husain would be replaced with one on painter Sobha Singh. He said Singh would make more sense to students in Himachal Pradesh because he was based in the state and incorporated Himachali culture in his paintings.

Gupta said there was "nothing communal or political" about the decision as was being made out by the Opposition. He agreed that the BJP had been opposing Husain's controversial portrayal of Hindu deities, but that had nothing to do with the present decision of the state government.

Gupta said instead of a chapter on Husain, "which has nothing to inspire students", the board will include a chapter on Singh and former president APJ Abdul Kalam.

Ajay Bharadwaj/ DNA-Daily News & Analysis Source: 3D Syndication