Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini portrayed as ‘most evil person’ in Class 6 book, publisher apologies after widespread criticism

The Class 6 NCERT book page.

New Delhi: Following widespread criticism across India, Acuber Books International, the publisher based in Uttar Pradesh, has issued an apology for listing Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, the revolutionary politician and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, amongst the “most evil people of the world” in a Class 6 textbook, The Wire reported.

This inclusion sparked a major controversy in Jammu and Kashmir with many figures condemning the act.

The textbook in question, That’s Right – 6, a sixth standard general knowledge and current affairs book, had categorised Khomeini alongside figures like Kim Il-sung of North Korea and Hirohito of Japan, attributing to him “many evil deeds” during his leadership from 1979 to 1989.

This characterisation drew immediate backlash from the Shia Muslim community, who revere Khomeini as a religious leader and Islamic scholar.

In response to the outcry, Mohammad Haider Rizvi, a Lucknow-based lawyer, condemned the textbook as an attempt to tarnish communal harmony and misrepresent Islam. Anjuman-e-Sharie Shiayan, a prominent Shia Muslim organisation in Jammu and Kashmir, denounced the portrayal, emphasising Khomeini’s positive impact and leadership against tyranny.

Social activist Sajjad Kargili criticized the book as “hateful and Islamophobic,” urging the government to intervene and remove it from circulation. Similarly, the All J&K Shia Association demanded swift government action against the publisher, stressing the need to respect Khomeini’s global influence and universal admiration.

In response, Acuber Books International acknowledged their mistake, expressing regret for the offensive characterization and promising to withdraw the book from the market, The Wire report mentioned.

The publisher emphasised their commitment to accuracy and sensitivity in future publications, pledging to issue formal corrections and apologies.

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