Devanur, G. Ramakrishna revoke permission to use their works in school curriculum

Devanur Mahadeva

Devanur Mahadeva

Kannada writer Devanur Mahadeva and scholar G. Ramakrishna have revoked permission to use their writings in the school curriculum in protest against the decision of the textbook revision committee to drop the works of several progressive writers of the State.

In separate releases, they both said they are distressed by the “agenda-driven” textbook revision being carried out in Karnataka and they would not want to be included in the curriculum in such a scenario.

In the release, Mr. Mahadeva said that those who have dropped the works of L. Basavaraju, A.N. Murthy Rao, P. Lankesh, Sara Aboobacker, and others have no clue or knowledge of Kannada, Karnataka or its culture.

Caste factor

Besides, the revision committee chairman, Rohit Chakrathirtha, has claimed not to identify a writer by his caste but go by their works. But by failing to take cognisance of caste in a country like India, 90% of the people tend to get excluded and this is eroding the concept of participatory democracy, said Mr. Mahadeva.

However, this is not a new trend and was also observed when BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi was the Union Minister for Human Resource Development. The BJP, with its roots and belief steeped in the RSS ideology based on caste supremacy, tends to meddle with history and education whenever it is in power, Mr. Mahadeva said in the release.

Alternative forces

Once the revised textbooks are published and their shortcomings ascertained, he would like to be part of the efforts that are striving to provide alternative views and lessons to students based on constitutional principles, said Mr. Mahadeva.

G. Ramakrishna

G. Ramakrishna

Dr. Ramakrishna, in another release, said, “It is an intellectual travesty that children are being fed poison through textbooks.”

The revised textbook of Class X first language Kannada, which now has a lesson based on a speech by RSS founder K.B. Hedgewar, also has an essay by Mr. Mahadeva and another on Bhagat Singh by Dr. Ramakrishna. The lesson authored by Dr. Ramakrishna, initially dropped, was later reintroduced following protests.

There have been protests by students’ organisations and others on the inclusions and exclusions in the new textbooks, which are seen as an effort at saffronisation of education.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2022 3:32:44 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/devanur-g-ramakrishna-revoke-permission-to-use-their-works-in-school-curriculum/article65456765.ece