Opposition parties in Maharashtra on Thursday demanded that a Marathi book recommended to school students for extra-curricular reading should be withdrawn as it contains a derogatory reference to the prince Sambhaji, the eldest son of King Shivaji.
The book is about the life of 17th-century saint-poet Ramdas, and it refers to the advice Ramdas is believed to have proffered to Sambhaji who became king after Shivaji's death.
The book has been recommended to students under the Union government's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme. Sambhaji Brigade, a Maratha organisation, submitted a written complaint to the state education commissioner Thursday, claiming that the book makes unsubstantiated and derogatory claims about Sambhaji.
Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan said the reference to Sambhaji in the book was objectionable, and the book should be withdrawn.
The government should "apologise to the people of Maharashtra" for recommending such a book, Chavan said. NCP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde also demanded a withdrawal of the book and apology from Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde.
Education department officials could not be reached for comments on the issue.
(With inputs from agencies.)