Will Take Action on Textbook Review Row Based on Education Min Report: Bommai

"The education minister will submit a report after considering all aspects of the controversy," Bommai said.

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Karnataka Chief Minister (CM) Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday, 1 June, said that the government will take action on the ongoing textbook review controversy after the state Education Minister BC Nagesh submits a comprehensive report on the same.

Bommai said this while addressing a press conference in Udupi, held as a part of the celebrations of the Narendra Modi government completing 8 years of office at the Centre.

After many litterateurs demanded a review of the state's textbooks, the State government sought a comprehensive report from the education minister on the issue.

"The opinion of the seers and others on the issue would be considered. The education minister has been asked to submit a comprehensive report with complete facts. A suitable decision would be taken after we get the report tomorrow. It will be discussed with the litterateurs," Bommai said.

"The education minister has stated that he would submit a report after considering all aspects of the issue. The minister had also met the seer of Adichunchanagiri Mutt and said that he would present the facts with the records," the chief mMinister had earlier said.


What Is the Textbook Controversy in Karnataka?

A row over the textbooks erupted in Karnataka after there were allegations that revisions in some Kannada lessons of Classes VI and VIII were against the Brahmin community. Following this, the state appointed a revised committee headed by Rohit Chakrathirtha, a mathematician and right wing writer, to look into the issue and introduce appropriate revisions.

According to a report in The Hindu, the committee submitted a report to the state in March, listing the revisions it had made in the social science and Kannada language textbooks of various classes.

As per media reports, lessons on Tipu Sultan, Bhagat Singh, Lingayat social reformer Basavanna, Periyar, and reformer Narayana Guru were either removed or cut down.

Besides, speeches of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, Vedic scholar late Bannanje Govindacharya, Shatavadhani R Ganesh, and other authors and poets were added in the language textbook.

This angered a section of seers, who alleged that teachings of Basavanna and information about Kannada poet Kuvempu were distorted. They also accused the review committee of insulting the poet's state anthem.


Several noted writers have since written to the Karnataka government asking it to remove their work from the school curriculam as a mark of protest against the revisions. On Monday, writer and scholar Hampa Nagarajaiah resigned from his post as president of Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Pratishthana.

Well-known writer and president of GS Shivarudrappa Prathistana, SG Siddaramaiah, HS Raghavendra Rao, Chandrashekhar Nangali, and Nataraj Boodalualso also resigned from their respective posts at the Prathistana, reported The News Minute.

People protesting the move have also taken objection to Chakrathirtha's statement that he was not aware of the caste of the authors.

Renowned Dalit activist and Kannada writer Devanuru Mahadeva, who had previously asked the government to remove his work from the school syllabus, had 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.”

Dubbing the revisions as "saffronisation of education," multiple political leaders, thinkers and educationists, have also been protesting against the appointment of Chakrathirtha as the head of the committee.

(With inputs from The News Minute, The Hindu.)

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Topics:  KARNATAKA   Basavaraj Bommai 

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