In a scathing attack against the opposition, the BJP government in Karnataka on Thursday alleged that the previous government led by Siddaramaiah had made several changes in the books only to “appease” the minority communities and further the communist ideology. To substantiate its claim, the government also released a 200-page book showing the amendments made by the Congress government to the textbooks showing Hindu deities and historical figures in a bad light.
“The textbooks brought in during the Congress governments weakened the Hindu gods and Hindu rulers in the state. Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka told reporters, chapters on Vijayanagara rulers, Mysore rulers Wadiyar, national poet Kuvempu, Bengaluru founder Kempegowda and Sir M Visvesvaraya were either removed or material on them in textbooks was reduced. According to the minister, before 2013 when the BJP government was in power, Kuvempu had 8 writings, but the textbook revision committee headed by Barguru Ramachandrappa reduced it to seven.
He said that he held a press conference to question those who raised the issue of saffronisation of textbooks. When Siddaramaiah’s government was in power, the writings of many litterateurs were removed but no one questioned them. The previous government exposed Tipu Sultan, Mohammad Ghazni, Hyder Ali and the Mughals, Ashok alleged.
He claimed that chapters on Tipu, Hyder Ali, Ghazni and the Mughals have now been removed and that freedom fighters and historical figures such as the Maratha rulers Shivaji and Kempegowda are gaining prominence in textbooks. Accusing the Congress of viewing the textbook issue with a bias, he asked the opposition party to remove the colored glasses worn to view the textbook without any bias.
Ashok slammed the previous textbook revision committee for dealing with ‘hidden agenda’ and ‘removing’ chapters on Ram and Hindu deities. The chapters on ‘Ramayana Darshanam’ and ‘Ajjayana Abhyanjan’ were dropped by Kuvempu. Instead, communist ideology gained prominence, he said.
To inculcate the feeling of nationalism among the students, he said that the BJP government has added chapters on Swami Vivekananda, RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, Ahom dynasty of Assam, Karkota dynasty of Kashmir, Prithviraj Chauhan and Shivaji Maharaj. The textbooks also have chapters on Indian festivals and the importance of yoga.
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