Karnataka government orders textbook revision with 18 major changes; 15 lessons added after dropping old ones

Lessons on K.B. Hedgewar and V.D. Savarkar are now out of the textbooks in Karnataka; revisions to be sent to all schools as corrigendum

June 18, 2023 01:48 am | Updated 10:21 am IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of teachers sorting textbooks ahead of the reopening of the Government Higher Primary School in Mangaluru.

A file photo of teachers sorting textbooks ahead of the reopening of the Government Higher Primary School in Mangaluru. | Photo Credit: Manjunath H S

The Karnataka government on Saturday ordered revision in the content of Kannada and Social Science textbooks of Classes VI to X, with 18 major changes, including 15 replacements of lessons. The Congress, ahead of the elections, had promised to undo some of the changes made in the textbooks during the previous BJP regime if voted to power.

Among the significant changes announced by the Karnataka Textbook Society are replacing RSS founder K.B. Hedgewar’s ‘Nijavada Adarsha Purusha Yaragabeku’ with ‘Sukumara Swamiya Kathe’ by Shivakotyacharya in Class X Kannada textbook and ‘Kalavannu Geddavaru’ by K.T. Gatti on Hindutva ideologue V.D. Savarkar with ‘Blood Group’ by Vijayamala Ranganath in Class VIII Kannada textbook.

Other changes include replacing ‘Bhoo Kailasa’, a play by Parampalli Narasimha Aithal, with ‘Magalige Bareda Patra’, a translation of Jawaharlal Nehru’s letter to Indira Gandhi, in Class VIII Kannada textbook. Shatavadhani R. Ganesh’s ‘Shreshta Bharatiya Chintanegalu’ has been replaced with Sara Aboobacker’s ‘Yudha’ in Class X Kannada textbook.

A prose piece by Hindutva proponent Chakravarthy Sulibele, ‘Taayi Bharatiya Amara Putraru’, has been dropped without any replacement in the Class X Kannada textbook. The lesson ‘Savitribai Phule’ by H.S. Anupama has been added to the Class VII Kannada textbook instead of Ramanandacharya’s ‘Saamajika Kalakaliya Modala Shikshaki’.

In Social Science

Tweaks and changes in the Social Science curriculum have been made, such as the inclusion of the lessons ‘Culture of Vedic Period’ and ‘Rise of new Religions’ and a component on human rights in the Class VI textbook.

They have also added components on the Wadiyar kings, Sir M. Visvesvaraya, and Sir Mirza Ismail in the lesson on princely States and components on ‘Women Social Reformers’ and ‘Women Freedom Fighters’ in Class VII Social Science textbook.

On linguistic pride

Interestingly, in a lesson in the Class X textbook, changes have been made on how “regionalism” and “linguistic pride” have been defined. Sentences that say that linguistic pride and regional pride are inimical to the idea of nationalism have been dropped.

With these changes, the textbook committee has brought back most of the components put in place by a committee headed by writer Baragur Ramachandrappa between 2013 and 2018 when the Congress government was in power. After the BJP government came to power in 2019, it tweaked textbooks to introduce several lessons on Hindutva ideologues through a committee headed by Rohith Chakrathirtha.

Numbers restricted

While the government had earlier said that there would be 45 changes in textbooks, the number of changes has been restricted keeping in mind the possible confusion it can create among students who have already received the textbooks.

The revisions would be sent to all schools as corrigendum, and the changes would also be announced on the department’s website, said the government’s order.

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