Text on Narayana Guru, Periyar removed from class 10 social science textbook in Karnataka

Rohith Chakratheertha, Chairman of Text Review Committee of Karnataka.

Rohith Chakratheertha, Chairman of Text Review Committee of Karnataka. | Photo Credit: H.S. MANJUNATH

While the controversy over inclusion of a speech of RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in the first language Kannada textbook of class 10 is yet to die down, the Karnataka government is caught in another controversy over exclusion of text on reformers Narayana Guru and Periyar in the new social science textbook of class 10.

In the PDF of the new social science part-1 textbook posted by the Karnataka Textbook Society on its website, chapter 5 dealing with “ Saamajika Mattu Dharmika Sudharana Chaluvaligalu” (social and religious reform movements) has been made concise and texts related to Brahma Samaj founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Arya Samaj of Swami Dayananada Saraswati, Prarthana Samaj of Atmaram Pandurang, Satyashodana Samaj of Jyotiba Phule, Aligarh Movement by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Ramakrishna Mission of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda, and Theosophical Society of Annie Besant are mentioned.

However, the references to Narayana Guru and Periyar, which were present in the chapter in the earlier version of the text, have been removed. The new textbook is yet to reach the students in the physical form.

R. Padmaraj, treasurer of Sri Gokarnanatha Temple of Narayana Guru, said ideals of Narayana Guru, who had strived hard for empowerment of the oppressed, are relevant to the present generation. “A chapter on social and religious reforms becomes incomplete without mentioning Narayana Guru’s work,” he told The Hindu.

“By removing portions related to Narayana Guru and Periyar, the State government is denying students the ideals of these two reformers, who have contributed towards a harmonius society,” said former Mangaluru City South MLA J.R. Lobo.

Mr. Lobo said the removal of the text on Narayana Guru, who has good following in Coastal Karnataka and Kerala, comes a few days after controversial exclusion of tableau related to Narayana Guru in the Republic Day parade.


However, denying the allegation, Chairman of Text Review Committee, Rohith Chakrathirtha, said the chapter is related to reforms brought in by different social and religious organisations. “The content in the chapter has only been contextualised now,” he told The Hindu.

“There is no question of ignoring reforms of Narayana Guru. His work is reflected in the chapter on social and religious reforms in the social science part 2 textbook of class 7,” he said. “People should not fall for campaign by some persons and organsations, who are trying to incite some communities,” he added.

However, there is no mention of Periyar in the same lesson in the class 7 textbook.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 1:52:15 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/text-on-narayana-guru-and-periyar-removed-from-class-10-social-science-textbook-in-karnataka/article65425873.ece