Karnataka government begins ‘course correction’: Hedgewar out, human rights, women freedom fighters in

In move that upholds federalism, paragraphs claiming 'linguistic fanatism', regionalism, affect nation's integrity have been dropped.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Jun 20, 2023 | 1:00 PM Updated Jun 20, 2023 | 1:00 PM

Class room representational picture

Changes to school textbooks under the newly-elected Congress government led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Karnataka extends to inclusion of literature by Dalit writers, chapters on women freedom fighters, and removal of paragraphs that vilify regional and language identity as “chauvinism”.

Deemed by Congress leaders, including ministers like Priyank Kharge, as fulfilling of the party’s “ideological guarantees”, the changes have also drawn the ire of right wing for lessons on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder KB Hedgewar and Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar being dropped.

Related: Confusion, anxiety over textbook revision as schools reopen

The Congress-led government in Karnataka has ordered a revision of school textbooks with 18 major changes.

The Siddaramaiah government has also added 15 new chapters to Kannada language and social sciences textbooks being taught in Classes 6 to 10. “Human Rights” is one of the topics added to the curriculum.

Among the major changes is the dropping of a paragraph on “linguistic fanatism”, and regionalism, affecting the country’s integrity.

The previous BJP government had introduced the paragraph in the chapter, Bharathakiruva Sawalugalu Aagu Pariharupayagalu (Challenges and Solutions for India) in the Class X Social Science textbook.

The paragraph was dropped on the ground that it went against the nation’s development and integrity. It also said “regional chauvinism” should be kept away as per the Constitution, and against the backdrop of Indians celebrating multilingualism, and the country’s multicultural diversity.

Also read: BJP’s legislations against Karnataka’s interest will be revised: Kharge

Corrigendum booklet issued

Karnataka textbook revision

The state Education Department has sent a corrigendum booklet with omissions and additions to all schools. The booklet was sent after the state Cabinet approved the revisions.

A week ago, the state’s Primary and Secondary Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa categorically stated that the government would restore what was earlier present in the school textbooks and dropped by the previous BJP government.

“We decided to remove only those changes that they (BJP) had made,” the minister reiterated.

Additions included chapters on social reformer and educator Savitribai Phule, Nehru’s letters to Indira Gandhi, and a poetry on BR Ambedkar to the Kannada Language Part-1, Part-2, and Social Science Part-1 and Part-2.

Also read: Bommai says it is ‘reverse-gear government’ in Karnataka

Class VI: Kannada, First Language

A poem, Nammadenuedhe? (What is Ours?) by Nirmala Suratkal was replaced with Nee Hodha Marudhina (The Day After You Left) by Chennanna Waalikar.

Class VII: Kannada, First Language

The chapter, Samajika Kalakaliya Modhala Shikshaki (The First Teacher of Social Concern), authored by Ramananda Acharya, was dropped. Instead, a lesson on Savitribai Phule by HS Anupama will be taught.

Class VIII: Kannada, First Language

Bhoo Kailasa (Heaven on Earth), a mythological play by Parampalli Narasimha Aithal gave way to Magalige Barede Pathra (Letters from a Father to His Daughter) by Jawaharlal Nehru, translated by TT Sharma Siddanahalli Krishnasharma.

Related: NCERT texbook revision part of ‘saffronisation’ agenda: Vijayan

Class X: Kannada, First Language

Four changes have been made to the Kannada first language textbook of Class 10.

The chapter, Nijavadha Adharsha Purusha Yaaragabeku?’ (Who Becomes an Ideal Person) by RSS founder was replaced by Sukumara Swamiya Kathe (The Tale of Swamy Sukumara) by Shivakottaya Acharya.

Yuddha (War) by SR Abubacker replaced the chapter Shreshta Bharathiya Chintenagalu (Profound Indian Thoughts) by Shatavadhani Dr R Ganesh.

The chapter, Thai Bharathiya Amaraputraru (Mother India’s Immortal Children) by orator Chakravarthy Sulibele has been dropped.

Minor corrections were in the introduction to Maharshi Valmiki in the chapter Veera Lava (Lava, the Brave) by Lakshmesh.

Class VIII: Kannada, Second Language

The chapter, Kalavanna Geddhavaru (Winners of Time) authored by  KT Gatti has been dropped. Instead, Blood Group by Vijayamala Ranganath has been included.

Class IX: Kannada, Second Language

The chapter, Achariyajeevi Imbala (Leech, A Peculiar Creature) by P Sathyanarayana Bhatt has been replaced with Urusu Galalli Bhavaikyate (Harmony during Urus) by Dastageera Alibhai.

Class VI: Part 1, Social Science

A sentence has been added to the chapter, Namma Hemmaya Rajya Karnataka (Our Proud State, Karnataka).To provide special aid, the Union Government, under Article 371(J) of the Constitution, has granted special status to Kalaburagi,” the sentence read.

New chapters on Veda Kalada Samskruti (Vedic Culture), and Hosa Dharmagala Udhaya (The Dawn of New Religions) have been added.

Class VI: Part 2, Social Science

The chapter, Fundamental Rights and Duties, will now discuss Human Rights also.

Class VII: Part 1, Social Science

The word Dharma replaced Religion In a chapter on important world events. In the chapter on Mysuru and other kingdoms, students will now learn about Mummadi Krishnaraja Vodeyar, Administration of Commissioners, Chamaraja Vodeyar, the X, Nalavadi Krishnaraja Vodeyar, Sir M Visvesvaraya, and Sir Mirja Ismail.

Class VII: Part 2, Social Science

Women freedom fighters made a comeback in the chapter on Swatantara Sangrama (Independence Struggle).

Class X: Part 1, Social Science

A paragraph under the sub-head Pradeshikavaadha (Regionalism) has been dropped from the chapter titled Bharathakiruva Sawalugalu Aagu Pariharupayagalu (Challenges and Solutions for India).