Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Karnataka: Savitribai Phule, Periyar, and revolutionary regional writers to be reintroduced in textbooks

The chapters pertaining to the works and contributions of progressive writers and social reformers, who were earlier removed from the Karnataka state board textbooks under the BJP government, will be reintroduced, government sources said.

The literary works of various revolutionary writers, including Girish Karnad, P. Lankesh, Devanur Mahadeva, Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy, and Nagesh Hegde, as well as lessons on radical reformers such as Savitribai Phule and Periyar, were removed by the previous Textbooks Revision Committee during the tenure of the BJP-led government.

According to the report of the new committee, headed by Prof. Manjunatha G. Hegde, all those parts will make a re-entry into Kannada language textbooks from the 2024-25 academic year in Karnataka.

The committee has also recommended reintroducing a few other subjects that were earlier dropped from the lesson “Social and Religious Reform Movements” in the class X history textbook.

However, the committee suggestions did not touch the parts related to Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali, which were deleted by the earlier committee.

Before the elections, the Congress had promised in its manifesto to undo some of the changes made in the textbooks and syllabi by the previous BJP regime after coming to power.

In June 2023, the Congress government initiated the process by ordering immediate changes in the content of Kannada and social science textbooks of classes VI to X, with 18 major changes, including 15 replacements of lessons.

A committee was also formed to supervise the revision process.

The major changes announced in June include replacing RSS founder K.B. Hedgewar’s “Nijavada Adarsha Purusha Yaragabeku” with “Sukumara Swamiya Kathe” by Shivakotyacharya in class X Kannada textbook and replacing “Bhoo Kailasa”, a play by Parampalli Narasimha Aithal with “Magalige Bareda Patra”, a translation of Jawaharlal Nehru’s letter to Indira Gandhi in class VIII Kannada textbook.

Shatavadhani R. Ganesh’s “Shreshta Bharatiya Chintanegalu” was replaced with Sara Aboobacker’s “Yudha” in class X Kannada textbook.

“The social science textbooks have been revised giving importance to the Constitution, gender sensitivity, child rights, democratic and secular values, and scientific temper,” the committee said in its report.


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