GUWAHATI, Sep 27 � In what could be termed as total indifference of the Board of Secondary Education (SEBA) towards the sensitivity of reputed citizens, it published an article of J.P Saikia, the editor of Dainik Asom, in a school text book without his permission and knowledge and regrettably by editing it in an erroneous method.
The article was published in Sahitya Bithika, a Bengali textbook for Class VIII in the year 1976. Though the textbook was in circulation since a long time back, Saikia was not aware for more than a decade that his article, originally published in the DESH in 1969, had been lifted and included in the textbook as the SEBA had not shown even the simple courtesy to inform him. It was much later that Saikia, then a senior Government officer, came to know that his article, which too edited in a flawed manner, had been included in the textbook.
�It was a real shock to me when I came to know that batches of young students were reading my article that had been wrongly edited,� said Saikia, adding that he was hurt not because his article had been used without his permission, but because it was edited in a flawed manner, inserting wrong sentences and dropping original lines.
Saikia took up the matter with the authorities concerned including the SEBA, but there was no response either from the SEBA or from any other authority.
Saikia then took up the matter with the authorities again through a legal notice, when the same textbook item was seen reproduced in another government publication. But what surprised him is the communication from SEBA that instead of acknowledging that the article was published in a flawed manner and extending an apology, tried to wash its hands off the matter.
A SEBA letter to Saikia said that it had no record regarding the articles selected for Sahitya Bithika at that time. It said that articles are indeed included in the textbooks with permission of the writers and that it had not received any complaints regarding the said article in all these years.
�The SEBA said that there was no logic in raising an issue that was 34 years old and suggested in the most outrageous manner that I should feel proud that students read my article,� said Saikia, adding that he was really ashamed that batches of students had read a flawed article.
The State Government has, however, extended an apology to Saikia for the mistake.