Textbook row | Team of ministers claims previous Cong govt made revisions to ‘appease minorities’

A team of four Cabinet ministers says the previous revision ‘insulted’ Hindu gods and rulers

A team of four Cabinet ministers says the previous revision ‘insulted’ Hindu gods and rulers

The BJP government in Karnataka on Thursday countered allegations made by Opposition leaders and seers and leaders of various communities on revised school textbooks and said the previous Congress government had made additions and deletions for “appeasement of minority communities.”

The government claimed that the earlier revision had “insulted” Hindu gods, Hindu rulers, rulers of Vijayanagara Empire, Wadiyars of Mysuru, poet Kuvempu, Bengaluru founder Kempe Gowda and Diwan of Mysuru Sir M Visvesvaraya by removing chapters or reducing text related to them in textbooks.

A team of four Cabinet ministers belonging to different communities, led by Revenue Minister R Ashok, defended the revision of textbooks by a committee headed by Rohith Chakrathirtha and said the revised textbooks would be distributed to students in the next few days with a list of seven-eight corrections on architect of the Constitution Dr. B R Ambedkar, social reformer Basavanna and poet Kuvempu.

‘Magnified’ achievements

They lashed out at the Siddaramaiah-led government for introduction of textbooks revised by writer Baraguru Ramachandrappa and “magnifying” the achievements of Muslim rulers belonging to Mughal dynasty as well as Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, all to appease minorities.

They alleged that some Kannada writers with a “hidden agenda” had prepared the textbooks then and removed all chapters linked to Rama and the Hindu religion. Chapters such as “Anale” in Ramayana Darshanam and “Ajjayyana Abhyanjana”, both by Kuvempu, were dropped. Many chapters and texts related to Indian rulers, included when Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri was the Education Minister, had been removed by the Congress government, the ministers said.

Also read: The textbook controversy in Karnataka

Presenting a document running to more than a 100 pages related to the revision of textbooks, Mr. Ashok said the Siddaramaiah-led government propagated Communist ideology and deleted or reduced texts related to deity Chamundeshwari, Kempe Gowda and his contributions to Bengaluru, Kuvempu, the Vijayanagara empire, Hindu rulers Shivaji, Rajputs. He said photographs of temples of Mathura and Somnath, slavery during the Khilji dynasty, reading of Gita by Mahatma Gandhi in Kolkata to contain communal violence during partition had also been deleted.


In the long list of inclusions made now, Mr. Ashok mentioned among other things chapters on RSS founder K B Hedgewar, Hindu monk and philosopher Swami Vivekananda, Sanathana Dharma, Karkota dynasty of Kashmir, Ahom dynasty of Assam, Maratha ruler Shivaji, Prithviraj Chauhan, chapter on “Bharathiyate” (Indianness) and local festivals and yoga.

The Ministers said the revisions done during the previous Congress regime had praised the achievements of Tipu Sultan in six to seven pages. “We included a chapter on Tipu Sultan with reduced text,” said Mr. Ashok. The Congress government reduced chapters/poems of Kuvempu from eight to seven. But the BJP government has increased them to 10 now, he added. “Our government included a separate chapter on Kempe Gowda and his contributions to Bengaluru, which had been deleted by the Baraguru Ramachandrappa panel,” he said.

150 mistakes

The ministers claimed that the textbooks revised by the Baraguru Ramachandrappa panel had committed more than 150 mistakes. Later, booklets containing corrections were distributed to students. The writers had not questioned then, he said. “Why do writers adopt such double standards now?” he asked.

Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar, Urban Development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj, PWD Minister C.C. Patil accompanied Mr. Ashok at the press conference.

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Sagar Biswas

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