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Rajya Sabha adjourned twice over ministry reply on freedom fighter

Monday August 29, 2011 08:31:06 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice Monday following protests by members over the human resource development (HRD) ministry's reply on the demand for including the contribution of freedom fighter Avantibai in school curriculum.

The house was first adjourned for 15 minutes and then till 2 p.m.

The issue was raised during zero hour by Ganga Charan of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), who said that the ministry, in a written reply to his question, said the inclusion of Avantibai in the curriculum will increase the burden on schoolchildren.

Avanitbai Lodhi was the wife of Vikramaditya Singh, who ruled the state of Ramgarh in present day Madhya Pradesh. She had fought against the British in 1857 and and killed herself with her own sword March 20, 1858 when she realised her defeat was imminent.

Ganga Charan took strong exception to the ministry's reply and was joined by several other members, including those of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They said it was an insult to freedom fighters.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said he would convey the feelings of the house to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal at the earliest.

Members advanced to the chairman's podium and started raisin slogans, following which the house was adjourned for 15 minutes.

When the house reassembled, the members again raised the issue.

Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan said that reply of the ministry in English was different and there was a problem with its Hindi translation.

Shukla said the reply in English makes it clear that the states have the option to include the contribution of Avantibai in textbooks.

On insistence of BSP and BJP members that the contribution of the freedom fighter should be included in text books, Shukla said the government agreed with the members on the issue.

"The ministry should re-examine the issue," he said.

However, members from the BSP, BJP, Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal-United continued to press for a reply from the HRD minister, following which the house was adjourned till 2 p.m.




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