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BMC to discuss Thackeray chapter in school books

The Shiv Sena wants a chapter on the life of its departed supremo, Bal Thackeray, in the secondary school syllabus, but opposition parties in the civic house appear split on the issue.

Bal Thackeray
Textbook entry: To keep alive the memory of Bal Thackeray and his contributions to the state, Shiv Sena corporator Anant Nar has sought a chapter on the departed leader in the secondary  school syllabus. File pic

Anant Nar, a Shiv Sena corporator from Jogeshwari, has moved a notice for the motion required to discuss the issue in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) General Body meeting. The discussion will be held today.

Letter to Mayor
Nar also wrote a letter to Mayor Sunil Prabhu and requested him to forward the notice to the state government to complete further procedures.

On Thackeray, Nar said: “He’s a great leader with vision, a cartoonist and a social reformer, and created history in Maharashtra by forming a (non-Congress) government in the state. Future generations should know about this great personality.”

Nar did not mention the specific standard from secondary school in which the chapter should be taught.

“The lesson should be incorporated in the syllabus of secondary school, which is from Std V to SSC,” Nar said.

Oppn’s reactions
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) supported the demand, but said the attempt to introduce the proposal in the BMC was an act of misleading the people.

“We are not opposing the main demand that Balasaheb’s life should be incorporated in the syllabus, but the matter does not falls under the BMC’s purview,” MNS leader Dilip Lande said. “The state government will decide on it.”

He also said that Nar’s move was an attempt to please his party higher-ups with his show of loyalty.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) termed the move a political stunt. “There is no legal stand (for the move) and the state will decide on the matter,” SP leader Rais Shaikh said. “We will oppose the move.”

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was yet to decide its stand.

“I will speak to our senior leader and then decide whether to support or oppose,” NCP leader Dhananjay Pisal said.

Opposition leader Dnyanraj Nikam was not available for comment. The Congress, which is the major opposition party, appeared confused over the issue.

“We may oppose the move, but have not yet decided anything,” a Congress corporator said on condition of anonymity.

State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) director N K Jarag said he had not received any communication from higher authorities on the inclusion of a chapter on Thackeray in the school syllabus.

“It may be included in the syllabus for post-SSC standards and not in primary or secondary, as the lower standards will not understand the depth of the personality,” Jarag said. 

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