Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has promised writers that the “act of polluting children’s minds through texts and lessons cannot be condoned.” As the academic year has started, action will be taken so that the education of the children is not disturbed, he said.
“The education sector will not be allowed to be adulterated in the name of the National Education Policy (NEP-2020). A separate meeting will be convened in this regard again to discuss it comprehensively and take strict and definite decisions,” he said, during a meeting with more than 40 writers and heads of various organisations at Home Office Krishna on Monday.
The writers demanded the withdrawal of the school textbooks which were revised by the committee, headed by right-wing writer Rohith Chakrateertha, under the BJP government. The writers alleged that these textbooks were “anti-constitutional and communal” and should be amended immediately and “the bad effect on the minds of children should be prevented”.
K. Marulasiddappa, S.G. Siddaramaiah, Banjagere Jayaprakash, Vasudhara Bhupati, L.N. Mukundaraj, and educationist V.P. Niranjanaradhya were among those present.
They also demanded that the textbooks were revised against the wishes of the Constitution and without any proper order. Therefore, legal action should be taken against the chairman and team members of the previous text revision committee, they said.
“A clear instruction should be given to the authorities concerned not to distribute the contaminated books which have already reached the Block Education Officers (BEO) and schools. An expert committee should be constituted immediately to scrutinize all these books and revise the textbooks in line with today’s changes,” they said in the meeting according to a release from the CM’s office.
The writers also demanded that in the first session of the Assembly, a resolution should be passed to reject the NEP. “There is no transparency in NEP and it will secretly achieve Hindu nationalism based on religious communalism instead of pluralistic nationalism advocated by the Constitution,” they alleged.
“According to this NEP, everything that was implemented in the Primary and Secondary Education and the Higher Education sectors should be stopped and the status quo should maintain before the implementation of the policy. It should be officially communicated to the Union government,” the writers demanded.
Along with protection for the writers, various reforms in the education sector, filling vacancies, distributing bicycles, distributing eggs for all students, effective implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE), withdrawal of false cases against writers, farmers, Dalits, and Kannada activists, and other demands were put to the Chief Minister.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said that hate politics will not be tolerated and the environment of fear will be eradicated. “There is no question of compromise on the issue of protecting the harmony and secular heritage of the Karnataka. False cases against Kannada activists, farmers, Dalits, and writers will be withdrawn. I have already issued stern instructions to the Director-General of Police to take strict action against moral policing, slanderous trolls and those who threaten writers. I will consider the facts seriously and our government will take action as per requirement,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.