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Protest at saffronisation of education: two Kannada writers demand withdrawal of works from text book

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Protest at saffronisation of education:  two Kannada writers demand withdrawal of works from text book
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Kannada writers Devanoora Mahadeva and G Ramakrishna (Photo courtesy: The Wire)

Bangalore: In protest against the saffronisation of the educational sphere in Karnataka, leading Karnataka literary figures Devanoora Mahadeva and G. Ramakrishna have demanded that their works be removed from the text books.

Their writings were in a 10th class Kannada language textbook.

After the BJP came to power in Karnataka, the government in 2020 had asked a revision committee headed by Rohit Chakraborty to examine the language and sociology textbooks. Subsequently, the social science textbooks for classes six to ten and the Kannada language textbooks for classes one to ten were revised.

However, chapters on Bhagat Singh, revolutionary freedom fighter, Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, Basavanna, a Lingayat social reformer, Periyar, pioneer of the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu, and Kerala's social reformer and writer Sree Narayana Guru were removed from the syllabus. The facts about the Kannada poet Kuvempu were also distorted. At the same time, the speech of RSS founder Hedgewar found its way into the revised Kannada textbook of the Class 10.

Writers Mahadeva and Ramakrishna wrote two separate letters to the government explaining their decision. They called the process of reviewing the textbook undemocratic and unjustified.

"The way the school textbooks have been revamped is very unethical. Education is being targeted for bad politics and is instilling poison in the minds of children. Hence, I feel it is appropriate to exclude my writings from the textbooks," the Indian Express quoted Ramakrishna as saying in his letter.

In his letter, Mahadeva regretted the fact that prominent Kannada writers had been excluded from the textbooks while RSS thinkers now found space there. He also said " The Textbook Revision Committee chairperson Rohit Chakraborty says he doesn't know the caste of the writers whose works have been included in the textbooks. In a country as complex as India, if one ignores caste consideration in such matters, there is a danger of 90 per cent of the writings by authors of a particular caste getting included in textbooks".

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TAGS:Saffronisation of education Karnataka Devanoora Mahadeva G Ramakrishna Rohit Chakraborty 
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