Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said he will hold a discussion with Education Minister and officials regarding the revised school textbook controversy, decide on possible measures, and “respectfully respond” to former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, who has written to him on the issue.
He was referring to a letter written by Gowda demanding withdrawal of the revised textbook and continuation of the old textbook revised by the previous textbook review committee by Baraguru Ramachandrappa.
“I will have a meeting with heads of the education department and the Education Minister on Wednesday where his (Gowda) letter will be discussed. His suggestions would be considered seriously and we will decide on whatever possible measures that could be taken, and will respond to him respectfully,” Bommai said in response to a question on Gowda’s letter.
Stating that numerous errors in the textbook cannot be rectified merely through corrigendum and separate printing of pages, Gowda in a letter to the Chief Minister dated June 20 said the revised textbooks should be withdrawn and be replaced with the previous one.
He also expressed support for the charter of demands by Vishwamanava Krantikari Mahakavi Kuvempu Horata Samiti.
The rights collective had staged a protest here on Saturday over the school textbooks row, giving a 10-day ultimatum to the Karnataka government to comply with their demands, which include withdrawal of the revised textbooks and continuation of textbooks designed by the previous Baraguru Ramachandrappa committee (under Siddaramaiah-led Congress regime).
Deve Gowda, state Congress president D K Shivakumar, former Supreme Court Justice V Gopala Gowda, former High Court Justice H N Nagmohan Das, pontiffs, writers were among participants of the protest mobilised by the Vishwamanava Krantikari Mahakavi Kuvempu Horata Samiti.
The JD(S) supremo in his letter said the revised textbooks are devoid of values like social justice, equality, and secularism professed by Dr Ambedkar and Kuvempu (a highly regarded Kannada poet).
Accusing the chairman of the textbook revision committee (Rohith Chakrathirtha) of insulting the state poet Kuvempu, state song, state flag, he noted that Ambedkar has been diminished, picture of Kuvempu has been removed from the social sciences textbook and key contents regarding the movement launched by Basavanna have been dropped, among other things.
Responding to another question, Bommai said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his appreciation for the welfare programmes and development works of the state and union governments being implemented in the state.
He said Modi usually likes good governance and development-oriented administration.
“The Prime Minister’s appreciation has given me more strength to work with greater vigour and efficiency,” Bommai said.