The textbook revision row is likely to snowball into a major crisis in Karnataka as the ruling BJP stayed defiant on the issue while Kannada activists who staged protest on Tuesday warned the party of consequences if the revision is not dropped.
Education Minister B.C. Nagesh once again rejected the demand, saying “textbooks are already printed”.
“Questions were not raised when sex education was given to Class 7 school children. If they want to protest, let them do it. They will realise their mistakes,” he said.
“Is there a need for children to read about death? Should small children read about sex? This was done by the previous committee. Why is there no photograph of the temple in the textbook? All this has been rectified,” he explained.
T.A. Narayana Gowda, President of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike has demanded the Textbook Revision Committee be terminated immediately and the government should distribute previous year’s textbooks.
“His observations on Kannada flag were questionable. He had openly branded legends of Kannada literature Kuvempu and Poornachandra Tejaswi as ‘anti-Brahmins’. How could the ruling BJP give such a responsibility to a person with such a background?” Narayana Gowda questioned.
“Rohith Chakrathirtha should be asked to leave the state. If these demands are not met, the government will have to face consequences,” he warned.
“The committee has insulted the lineage of thinking by removing texts of Kannada litterateurs such as P. Lankesh, Sara Aboobkar, Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar, Aravinda Malagatti, B.T. Lalitha Naik. The lesson on social reformer Narayana Guru has been removed from Class 10 textbook,” Narayana Gowda alleged.
“We cannot tolerate the attitude of the government to play with the feelings of Kannadigas to promote a particular ideology,” he said.
Education Minister Nagesh, however, defended Chakrathirtha. He said: “Why litterateurs are behaving like this? I do not understand.”
Another thinker and Dalit author Moodnakoodu Chinnaswamy has also written a letter to Nagesh regarding a poem in Class 5 textbooks.
Former speaker of the Legislative Assembly Ramesh Kumar has also written a letter to the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to intervene in the matter of textbook revision row.