Karnataka Congress protests against revised textbooks, demands CM's resignation

07:59 AM Jun 10, 2022 | PTI |

Bengaluru, Jun 9: The Karnataka Congress on Thursday staged a protest here urging the state government to withdraw the controversial revised school textbooks, and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, accusing his administration of distorting history and “saffronizing” education as per RSS’ directions.


Amid sloganeering by calling the state government “RSS’ puppet”, “anti-people”, “anti-constitution”, and “corrupt”, the protest was held in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at the premises of Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the state secretariat and legislature here.

They accused the government of insulting prominent religious, social, and freedom movement figures like Basavanna, B R Ambedkar, Narayana Guru, Kuvempu, and Bhagat Singh among others, and alleged that it was saffronizing education and introducing ‘Manuwaad’ into it, also distorting history and spreading hatred among students.

The protest attended by several state Congress legislators and leaders was led by state president D K Shivakumar, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, and Leader of the Opposition in the Council B K Hariprasad, among others.

Accusing the government of trying to distort the state’s and country’s culture and history by bringing in the “Nagpur Education Policy” and with an “unfit person” as the head of textbook review committee, Shivakumar said, “You (the government) have made us bow down our heads in shame by insulting state and national icons.”


The Congress will continue its agitation on the issue, he said, “Withdraw this revised textbook, bring back the old ones, throw the revised one into the dustbin…they (BJP) tried to revise books according to their whims and fancies. Basavaraj Bommai should resign first, Bommai and BJP government should go first.”

Siddaramaiah said the textbooks have been revised as per the directions of RSS by distorting history, with an aim to saffronise education, and it has to be withdrawn.

Pointing out that the government under pressure from literary figures and intellectuals had disbanded the textbook review committee, he said the textbooks revised by the disbanded committee have to also be withdrawn and should not be taught to students as history has been distorted in it.

The state government had last week “disbanded” the textbook review committee headed by Rohith Chakratirtha, stating its designated work was completed and had said that the government is open to further revision if there are any objectionable contents.

Amid raging controversy over the textbook issue, state Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh on Tuesday had said the government has decided to place before the people the contents of the original textbooks and those revised by the erstwhile Congress and the present BJP regimes.

The controversy had erupted with some organizations raising objections over the alleged replacing of a chapter on Bhagat Singh with an essay on a speech by RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in the revised Kannada textbook for Class 10.

Subsequently, there were allegations about the omission of a chapter on Narayana Guru and several other prominent figures, national and state icons, and their literary works.

There are also allegations of erroneous content on 12th-century social reformer Basavanna and certain factual errors in the textbooks, including accusations of disrespecting ‘Raashtra Kavi’ (national poet) Kuvempu and distortion of the state anthem penned by him.


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