Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has joined other political leaders in the state in demanding the removal of a "controversial" chapter from CBSE Class 9 Social Science text book that allegedly makes derogatory remarks about the Nadar community.
In a letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ms Jayalalithaa has said that a topic in the book titled "Caste, Conflict and Dress Change" wrongly depicts members of the Nadar community as migrants. She said the "incorrect" details in the textbook were "very misleading and may leave a wrong impression in the minds of the students" about the community.
"The social and economical development achieved by the Nadars over the years is commendable. Their success in the fields of education and business can be attributed to their hard work and determination," she said and urged the Prime Minister to direct officials to remove the "objectionable" chapter from the textbook.
Noting that great leaders, including Kamaraj, belonged to this community, Ms Jayalalithaa said that their contribution to society was "immeasurable". She also added that various associations made representations to her condemning the "objectionable" references in the book about their community.
The chief minister also said that contrary to the information given in the text, the Nadars were the original inhabitants of Kanyakumari district and this was corroborated by the Tholkappiam and Silappathikaram literatures.
"The Nadars are said to be descendants of those who ruled the Cheran, Cholan and Pandyan Kingdoms... the Nadar Community is not a lower caste as mentioned in the CBSE book. Rather, they have been rulers of South India at one point of time", the Chief Minister said.
DMK Chief M Karunanidhi had written to the Prime Minister on the issue yesterday. MDMK leader Vaiko and PMK leader S Ramadoss have also objected to the references.
(With Inputs from PTI)