Bhubaneswar: An “inadvertent error” was made regarding the death of Mahatma Gandhi in a recent government booklet, School and Mass Education Minister Samir Dash told the Assembly on Saturday.
“There was no intention to mislead the people by distorting facts. All the booklets with the error were withdrawn. A new booklet with correct information will be published and distributed within a month,” the minister said.
Dash said those who were responsible for providing wrong information in the booklet will be relieved from their duty. “Besides, show-cause notice has been served to two senior officials,” he added.
On Friday, Speaker Surya Narayan Patro had directed the minister to furnish a reply in the House.
Leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Narasingha Mishra had raised the issue during zero hour.
Alleging that BJD and BJP are trying to mislead the people and students on Gandhiji’s death, the CLP leader said there is no mention of Nathuram Godse, who was hanged for this heinous crime, in the booklet.
“By providing such misinformation, the Odisha government seems to have given a clean chit to Nathuram in the Mahatma’s death. If this is so, then when is the state government planning to build Nathuram’s statue,” Mishra asked.
He also said that if the Chief Minister was aware of the information provided in the booklet, he should immediately resign and if it had happened without his knowledge, then he should tender an unconditional apology to the House.
The School and Mass Education Department had published a two-page booklet ‘Aama Bapuji: Eka Jhalaka’ (Our Bapuji: A Glimpse) and distributed it in all schools to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The booklet said that Gandhiji had died at Birla House in New Delhi due to an ‘accidental sequence of events’ on January 30, 1948.