No Chapter on Savarkar, Hedgewar: Karnataka Govt Orders Revision in Content of Class 6, 10 Textbooks
In the wake of the recent approval by the Cabinet to revise classroom textbooks, the Karnataka government has taken action to amend the content of Kannada and social science textbooks for Classes 6 and 10. This revision encompasses 18 significant changes, including the removal of controversial chapters concerning RSS founder KB Hedgewar and Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar. Additionally, several other chapters have been substituted, such as Shatavadhani R Ganesh's "Shreshta Bharatiya Chintanegalu" with Sara Aboobacker's "Yudha," and Parampalli Narasimha's mythological drama "Bhookailasa" with Jawaharlal Nehru's "Letter to My Daughter." A chapter authored by right-wing ideologue Chakravarthy Sulibele has been omitted.
Furthermore, numerous lessons and poems focusing on BR Ambedkar and Savitribai Phule have been included in the textbooks. In the realm of social science, lessons on the "Culture of Vedic Period" and the "Rise of New Religions" have been added, along with information about the Wadiyar kings of Mysore and their Diwans. A previously included essay on regionalism, which depicted it as a threat to national unity, has been eliminated. This essay had highlighted how linguistic fanaticism leading to regionalism contradicted the concept of nationalism and hindered national unity by citing the example of the Andhra Pradesh split.
Most of the lessons that were initially introduced during the Congress rule from 2013 to 2018, under the guidance of writer Baraguru Ramachandrappa and his committee, have been reinstated. The decision to revert the changes made to the textbook syllabus during the tenure of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was a promise made by the Congress party in the lead-up to the state elections. Following a meeting between writers, thinkers, and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the Congress government established an interim committee led by esteemed thinker Baraguru Ramachandrappa. This committee was tasked with analyzing the syllabus and providing a report outlining the necessary modifications. Subsequently, the committee will oversee the implementation of these changes.
Since the academic year has already commenced, the government plans to provide students with a supplementary booklet containing the necessary revisions. The printing of these booklets is estimated to cost around 10-12 lakhs, and they are expected to be distributed to students within 6-10 days, as confirmed by the state's Education Minister.
Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa, speaking after the recent cabinet meeting where the decision to revise the textbooks was made, provided further insights into the process. "In line with our commitment outlined in our manifesto and in the best interest of students, we will be making changes to certain chapters. For one month, the main subjects will not be taught. Therefore, we have decided to provide a supplementary booklet containing all the changes for this one-month period. It will be delivered to all schools within less than 10 days. My immediate task is to ensure its prompt printing and distribution to schools. The complementary booklet will only be used for the current academic year. Starting from next year, in order to foster critical thinking and facilitate enhanced studies, we will establish a technical team to plan for the upcoming academic years from now itself," stated the Education Minister.