Kannada writer Devanuru Mahadeva and scholar G Ramakrishna asked the government to remove their work from the school curriculum, as a form of protest against the textbook revision committee's decision to drop several progressive works from the curriculum.
Devanuru Mahadeva, renowned Dalit activist and writer, said that he was withdrawing the consent he had given to publish an extract of his book that was in the class 10 syllabus.
Devanuru Mahadeva said that he did not want his works to be part of a curriculum after the ‘agenda-driven’ revision that is being carried out by the government.
What Were the Works That Were Dropped?
The works of L Basavaraju, AN Murthy Rao, P Lankesh, and Sara Aboobacker had been dropped from the curriculum.
In the class 9 textbook, Goruru Ramaswamy Iyengar’s prose work 'Kannada Moulvi' has been replaced with N Ranganatha Sharma’s 'Ramarajya.' L. Basavaraju’s 'Urubhanga' prose has been replaced with Gajanana Sharma’s 'Channabyradevi.'
Many more such revisions have taken place in the syllabus. The authors that have been added include SL Bhyrappa, a writer and a staunch supporter of the Hindutva ideology.
‘Textbook Committee Knows Nothing About Kannada Literature’: Devanuru Mahadeva
Devanuru said that he wanted his work removed from the curriculum for two reasons. Firstly, he said that those who had taken the decision to drop the chapters from the textbooks did not have any idea of Kannada literature or culture.
Secondly, he took objection to the committee chairperson Rohith Chakrathirtha saying that he was unaware of the caste of the authors. Devanuru said, “Caste is a reality in our country, and when it is not identified, 90 percent of authors from the same caste are featured as a result. This means that diverse voices disappear, which does not make for a good democracy.”
Similarly, G Ramakrishna said that the revision of textbooks is leading to a ‘dangerous path.’ “It is not pardonable that education is being used as a tool of politicking,” he said.
(With inputs from The Hindu and Times of India.)