Following the controversy over inclusion of RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar’s speech in school textbooks, senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Wednesday urged Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to immediately stop the printing of the textbooks and to take decision in this regard after discussions with intellectuals and educational experts.
According to official sources, the speech by Hedgewar was included as chapter in the revised Kannada textbook for students of class X.
“If the media reports are true about the revised curriculum, then the issue is very serious. In order to avoid speculation and conflicts about the issue, @CMofKarnataka @BSBommai should give clarifications,” Siddaramaiah tweeted.
He said when there are many renowned authors, writers, intellectuals and education experts in Karnataka, the BJP government in the State has chosen to insult the people there by delegating the work to an inexperienced youth from RSS.
“The government should withdraw the draft submitted by the current textbook revision committee and dissolve the committee. Appoint a new committee comprising education experts, intellectuals and eminent writers of Kannada,” he added.
The Karnataka Textbook Society has said a committee headed by Rohith Chakrathirtha was constituted to examine social science and language textbooks and to revise them, and it has revised social science textbooks from classes 6 to 10 and Kannada language textbooks from classes 1 to 10.
Alleging that BJP has already destroyed the sanctity of the religion for political reasons, Siddaramaiah said, “Now, they are trying to politicise learning space to spoil the minds of innocent children for political gains. This is unfortunate and people should oppose this.” “Let BJP use Hedgewar, Golwalkar and Godse in their political rallies and ask votes by showing their portraits. People will evaluate what is right or wrong, and decide. But do not politicise education for selfish reasons,” he added.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh on Monday defended inclusion of a speech by Hedgewar in the Kannada textbook.
He had said the textbook does not contain anything about Hedgewar or RSS, but only his speech on what should be an inspiration to people, especially the youth, and added that those who have raised objections have not gone through the textbook.
Amid allegations in some quarters that a lesson on freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was omitted, the Textbook Society on Tuesday had clarified that the chapter has not been removed, and the Kannada textbook of Class 10 is currently at the printing stage.