The Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) on Saturday ordered that a book titled "Shree Samarth Ramdas Swami", which allegedly portrays Maratha king Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in a poor light, will not be distributed among students.
The book, written by Dr Subha Sathe, has been prescribed under the supplementary reading scheme of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme aimed at universalisation of elementary education.
A circular issued by Vikas Garad, deputy director (coordination) MSCERT, stated that "objection has been raised that there is a derogatory remark about Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in the book and a committee of history experts has been set up to probe into the objections."
The circular further stated that the book should not be made available for reading to students "until further directions" and all the copies of the book will be kept in the custody of the respective schools' principals.
The circular is addressed to education officers and inspectors of all municipal corporations, Zilla Parishads and municipal councils in the state.
Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde, reacting to the circular, said that just stopping the book's distribution would not be enough.
"Action should be taken against the writer and publisher. Education Minister Vinod Tawde should apologise to the people and resign on moral grounds," he said.