Publisher ‘sorry’ for Prophet slur in Marathi textbook

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Nagpur (Maharashtra), July 20 (IANS) A publisher tendered an unconditional apology for publishing certain blasphemous comments on Prophet Mohammed in a Class 5 CBSE approved Marathi textbook here on Wednesday.

The proprietor of Emkay & Sons, publishing books under the brand of Orange City Publishers, Parvesh M. Neb on Wednesday issued the apology for the chapter ‘Nirmal’ Part I to 8, which had hurt Muslim sentiments.

“I don’t have any motive or intention of doing it (hurting sentiments). So I and the team author, editor, illustrator, printer, composer apologise for the same,” Neb said in his apology.

The regret letter was issued to the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Students Islamic Organisation, Nanded which had brought the matter to the publisher’s notice, pointing out certain “blatantly wrong and mischievous content and erroneous photographs” of Prophet Mohammed accompanying the text material.

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“When we were informed about the contents in the Marathi textbook, we felt it prudent to directly approach the publisher and apprise them. He readily accepted the mistakes and even tendered an apology. We are satisfied by his response,” JIH state secretary (education) Zahoor Ahmed told IANS.

“We are deeply regretful for this unintended lapse on our part and have given a written apology. As a precautionary measure, we have recalled all the copies of the textbook in the market. We shall delete the offensive content and re-issue them within a week or so,” Neb told IANS.

Neb said in the next edition, he would send the revised manuscript to JIH and other experts for vetting before including it in the textbooks.

He appealed to the JIH and SIO to cooperate in the interest of maintaining peace and harmony, to which the two organisations readily agreed.

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