The ruling BJP in Karnataka has taken a U-turn in connection with deletion of the lesson on freedom fighter and martyr Sardar Bhagat Singh from the syllabus.
According to sources, the government after sensing the opposition from all corners has decided to retain the lesson of Bhagat Singh in the textbook. The state government has also halted the distribution of books to the SSLC class students in this background.
The Text Book Revision Committee formed by the ruling BJP in the state to review the syllabus had decided to drop the lesson on Bhagat Singh from SSLC (Class 10) Kannada textbook.
The committee had decided to replace Bhagat Singh’s text with writer Shivananda Kalave’s “Swadeshi Sutrada Sarala Habba” lesson. This was criticised heavily and the state government then had come into a damage control mode.
The Opposition parties slammed BJP for disrespecting the freedom fighter. Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and state chief D.K. Shivakumar, former Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) had attacked the BJP over the issue.
They chided that the BJP was turning textbooks as party brochures. They also objected to the decision on the deletion of Bhagat Singh’s lesson and inclusion of speech of RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in the textbook.
The TextBook Review Committee President, writer Rohit Chakratheertha while defending the decision to include RSS founder’s speech, stated that the committee had no intention of promoting right wing ideology. If they had such a motive they would not have deleted the lesson on Bhagat Singh. “The lesson was included in the supplement textbook. It was not in the main part. There was no sufficient information about Bhagat Singh in the lesson. Hence, it was decided to remove the lesson,” he had stated.
The decision of the revision committee to drop glorification of erstwhile King of Mysuru Tipu Sultan has also stirred controversy. Sources said that the committee has taken off his title ‘Lion of Mysuru” while mentioning him. The title was accorded to Tipu Sultan for fighting valiantly against the British.
The TextBook Revision Committee has reviewed social science textbooks of Class 6 and 10 and Kannada textbooks of Class 1 – 10.