Shiromani Akali Dal veteran Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to express "remorse" and "apologise" to the Sikh community for allegedly "denigrating" Sikh gurus in the new class 12 history textbooks of the Punjab State Education board.
Mr Badal said Captain Singh has "abrogated" his responsibility as head of the state and refused to file a criminal case against those responsible for the distribution of "sacrilegious" material, which has "assaulted" the Sikhs sensibilities.
"The mere withdrawal of the history book which launched a brazen assault on the sacred image of the great Sikh guru sahiban, especially Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind , Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh is not enough," Mr Badal said.
"The chief minister should own responsibility and apologise to the Khalsa Panth and seek its forgiveness immediately," he demanded. The former chief minister said all these distortions occurred after the Punjab government was forced to remove similar sacrilegious material from the same book, following which Amarinder Singh formed a committee to prepare new history books for classes 11 and 12.
Punjab chief minister had directed the PSEB Monday withdraw the new history textbooks for classes 11 and 12 and continue with the old ones prescribed for 2017-18 academic session till completion of the review of new books by an expert panel.
The government's move had come after Akali Dal had accused the state government of hurting religious sentiments by allegedly including "derogatory" references to the Sikh gurus in some chapters of the Class 12 PSEB history textbooks.