Don’t use textbooks to settle political scores, says Vishwanath

Former Minister and BJP MLC A H Vishwanath

Former Minister and BJP MLC A H Vishwanath | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

Expressing disappointment over the use of school textbooks to “settle scores in a political confrontation”, former Minister and BJP MLC A.H. Vishwanath said the country can ill afford to keep changing the contents of textbooks based on the ruling party’s ideology.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru on Saturday, Mr. Vishwanath, who earlier served as a Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, said a country will be ruined if its education and culture are ruined. “It is depressing to see all this”, he remarked.

Mr. Vishwanath questioned the credentials of Rohit Chakravarthy, who heads the Textbook Review Committee constituted by the BJP government in the State. “Who is Rohit Chakravarthy?”, he questioned before stating that he was a Sangh Parivar activist and not an education expert.

He said it was a “tragedy” that a person, who is not an education expert, was heading the Textbook Review Committee. He said he would urge the Minister concerned to involve the members of Department of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT) and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in any exercise to review textbooks. “It should be within our national curriculum framework. It (review of textbooks) cannot happen on somebody’s whims”, he said.

Contending that he too had resisted efforts to saffronise education during his tenure as Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Mr. Vishwanth criticised the reported move to replace chapters on a social reformer Narayana Guru and freedom fighter Bhagat Singh with speeches of RSS founder K.B. Hegdewar.

Referring to the reported recommendations to tone down chapters on Tipu Sultan, Mr. Vishwanath said Tiger of Mysore was only a title given to the eighteenth century ruler of Mysore. “How can you compare Tipu Sultan with Hegdewar? Tipu Sultan pledged his children. He did not surrender before the British”, he said.

When asked if former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s son B.Y. Vijayendra would be considered in the next Cabinet expansion, Mr. Vishwanath wondered if his inclusion in the Cabinet will make any qualitative difference to the government.

Mr. Vishwanath also expressed his disappointment over the failure of Minister in charge of Mysuru district S.T. Somashekar to visit the rain-hit areas of the city that were flooded with rainwater in the recent bout of heavy rains.

“When Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was personally inspecting the rain-hit areas of Bengaluru, shouldn’t the Minister in charge of the district tour the district and convene meetings of people’s representatives to resolve the woes of the people?”, he questioned.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 9:14:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dont-use-textbooks-to-settle-political-scores-says-vishwanath/article65442589.ece