Karnataka govt releases final revised copy of Class X history, Kannada textbooks, chapter on Bhagat Singh retained – The Indian Express

The primary and secondary education department of Karnataka released the final revised copy of Class X Kannada and social science textbooks Monday.
Notably, the Opposition had targeted the ruling BJP-led government after reports surfaced that lessons on freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and social reformer Narayan Guru, among others, were replaced with chapters on RSS founder KB Hedgewar and works of ‘right-wing’ ideologues. However, the government Monday confirmed that chapters on Bhagat Singh, Narayan Guru, and EV Periyar have not been dropped.
The state unit of the All India Democratic Students Organisation welcomed the move. It said, “As a result of widespread protests, the lesson on Bhagat Singh has been reintroduced in the Class X textbook. The government has bowed to pressure and this is a victory for the people’s movement. However, we still oppose the inclusion of Hedgewar in the syllabus.”
Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh said, “The PDFs of the textbooks that went viral are unverified and the hard copy is the final one. The Congress and other opposition parties jumped the gun without reading the content properly. The changes were made to select portions of Kannada and history textbooks, where the previous committee headed by Barguru Ramchandrappa had got certain facts wrong. Moreover, the lesson on Narayan Guru has been transferred from the history to the Kannada textbook because students were overburdened with a lot of history lessons.”
According to the Karnataka Textbook Society, about 78 per cent of the textbooks have been printed and the rest will be printed in the next 15 days.
Highlighting the omissions and the additions made by the previous textbook committee, Nagesh slammed the Congress for playing vote-bank politics. “Lessons on Mysore Maharajas and their contributions towards social reforms were reduced to a few lines from five pages. However, lessons on Tipu Sultan were increased from one page to six pages… The new committee has included portions highlighting the contribution of Mysore Maharajas (Wadiyar dynasty) in their fight against the British,” he said.
Clarifying the changes made to the chapter on Periyar, Nagesh said: “Periyar believed that Rama represents Vedic culture and Ravana represents Dravidian culture. Moreover, he was a staunch critic of Rama and even garlanded the photo of Lord Rama with slippers. This is not what we intend to teach our children and these have been removed. Besides, we have also reintroduced Kuvempu’s Ramayana Darshanam, which was removed by the previous committee.”
Talking about the accusation of ‘Brahminising’ the textbooks, Nagesh said, “The critics have stooped low by identifying literature works with caste. In fact, the previous committee headed by Barguru Ramchandrappa included the works of 19 Brahmins. Nobody questioned that. We are working to provide knowledge based on content and not caste.”
Meanwhile, the Campus Front of India, the student wing of the Popular Front of India, has opposed the inclusion of lessons on KB Hedgewar and right-wing activist Chakravarty Sulibele. The organisation was reportedly mobilizing support to protest against the state government’s decision starting Tuesday.
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