Bengaluru: Siddaramaiah, senior Congress leader on Wednesday urged the urged Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to put an immediate halt to the printing of textbooks that have included RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar's speech. He advised the government to discuss the same with intellectuals and educational experts, and take a decision on the same.
Official sources have mentioned that the speech by Hedgewar was included as chapter for class X students in the revised Kannada textbook.
"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 that the BJP government has insulted the people by forgoing expert opinion from renowned authors, writers, intellectuals and education experts, and have assigned the task to an inexperienced RSS worker.
He added, "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".
According to the Indian Express, Rohith Chakrathirtha has headed a committee constituted for examining the social science and language textbooks, and for revising them. The Karnataka Textbook Society has said that the committee has revised social science textbooks from classes 6 to 10 and Kannada language textbooks from classes 1 to 10.
He also alleged that BJP has already ruined the sanctity of the religion for political reasons, and 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.
On Monday, B C Nagesh the Primary and Secondary Education Minister spoke defending the inclusion of Hedgewar's speech in the Kannada textbook.
He reiterated that the revised textbooks only contained the speech, and did not contain anything about Hedgewar or RSS. He said that the speech was something that would be an inspiration to people, especially the youth. He added that people have raised objection against the text book without completely going through the books.
There has been allegation that a chapter on Bhagat Singh was removed from the books. But the textbook society has clarified that the lesson has not been removed, and the Kannada textbook of Class 10 is currently at the printing stage.