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Writer Roopa Hassan returns royalty cheque to Karnataka government opposing inclusion of her work in school textbooks

Roopa Hassan, one among seven writers who withdrew permission to include their works in the revised textbooks in Karnataka, returned the royalty amount cheque, along with a condemnation letter to the Karnataka Text Book Society (KTBS)

January 21, 2023 04:33 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 09:54 am IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of writer Roopa Hasan (centre)

A file photo of writer Roopa Hasan (centre)

Roopa Hassan, one among seven writers who had earlier this academic year withdrawn permission to include their works in the revised textbooks in Karnataka, has rejected the royalty from the government for her poetry, which was taught to students in this academic year.

She has returned the royalty amount cheque, along with a condemnation letter to the Karnataka Text Book Society (KTBS).

In her letter, Roopa Hassan said, “I had given permission to the textbook revision committee in the academic year 2017-18 to include one of my poetry in school textbooks. However, in the academic year 2022-23, Rohith Chakrathirtha-led committee revised the school textbooks against the rules and regulations of National Curriculum Framework 2005. We strongly opposed this unethical and unnecessary revision of school textbooks, and I had withdrawn my permission to include my poetry in the school textbooks.

“I sent my dissent note to the minister concerned and the KTBS director, when they asked me to reconsider my decision. However, the Department of School Education and Literacy has set aside all our disapproval, and included our works in the school textbooks against our wishes. It is very condemnable,” she wrote.

“They also sent ₹1,500 as royalty through a bank cheque. I rejected this cheque because the department has included my work unilaterally in the school textbook, against my wishes. I condemn this dictatorial attitude of the government and returned the royalty amount cheque to the department concerned,” she told The Hindu.

Seven writers, including Devanuru Mahadeva, had withdrawn permission to include their works in the revised textbooks, taking exception to ‘saffronisation’ of textbooks under the Rohith Chakrathirtha-led committee, which had brought in, among others, a speech by RSS founder K.B. Hedgewar as a lesson in class 10 Kannada textbook.

On September 23, 2022, the government issued a circular withdrawing the relevant lessons.

However, on October 14, Minister for School Education and Literacy B.C. Nagesh told officials to continue the lessons for this academic year.

Also, many parents demanded that the lessons be continued, resulting in the issuing of another circular on October 28, which stated that it was not practical to drop lessons in the middle of an academic year, and therefore, it would be continued only for this year.

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