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12 Dec 2017

Rajbangshis decry book slur on icon

Representatives of the Rajbangshi Employees' Association at the news conference.
(Photo: Main Uddin Chisti)
TT, Cooch Behar: An association of the Rajbangshis based in Cooch Behar sent a letter to chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday requesting steps against a private publishing house they allege has printed some "derogatory" phrases about the community in a history book.
"A private publishing house based in Calcutta has published a history book under the syllabus of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education for Class X. In the book, there is a piece on Panchanan Burma (a prominent statesman known for his works on the socio-economic development of the Rajbangshis). In that, there are couple of phrases we found derogatory. We have requested the chief minister to take necessary steps against the house and also ensure the book is not used in any school across the state," said Ratan Kumar Roy, convener of the Rajbangshi Employees' Association.
The book mentions that Burma, who helped bring in social reforms among the Rajbangshis, had asked members of the community to leave "despicable" occupations and abandon the practice of having "impure food" and change their food habits.
Himadri Deuri, another member of the association, said they welcomed the state's decision to include the history of Rajbangshis and Panchanan Burma in the syllabus. It was a longstanding demand of the community, different social organisations and even some political parties.
At the same time, we want the CM to intervene so that such wrong facts are not put in history books. The education department should see the information provided about the community, Panchanan Burma and his social reforms is authentic," Deuri said.

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