K'taka textbook row: Congress demands resignation of CM Bommai

The state Congress workers said their protests will continue if the revisions from the textbooks are not dropped
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai | (Pic: Express)
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai | (Pic: Express)

Protesting against the revision of textbooks in Karnataka, the state's Congress unit staged a protest in Bengaluru at the Vidhana Soudha premises. Leader of Opposition K Siddaramaiah and Congress' state unit chief DK Shivakumar led the protests and demanded that the revision exercise be dropped and revised textbooks not be put to use, according to a report by IANS.

Going a step further, Shivakumar demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for "tarnishing" the state's image at the international level. He said that the revision of textbooks disrupted peace in society. The Congress leaders claimed that the BJP government was carrying out the "saffronisation" of education. They are also demanding the arrest of the Chairman of the Textbook Revision Committee, Rohith Chakrathirtha.

The controversy has been brewing in Karnataka after among a total of 534 chapters in Kannada and Social Science subjects from Classes I to X of the state syllabus, the Chakrathirtha-led committee (which now stands dissolved) revised 83 of them, which the state government subsequently approved. One of the revisions includes the addition of a speech by RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and the removal of chapters on Bhagat Singh, Narayana Guru and Periyar. The chapter on Bhagat Singh was later added again. 

While Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday, June 3, evening announced that they were open to re-revision of textbooks, despite almost 80 per cent being printed and about 66 per cent distributed among schools across Karnataka, the very idea of the need for revising school textbooks — especially Kannada and Social Science — is being questioned.

Accusing the government of poisoning the children's minds, Siddaramaiah said that the protests by the Congress workers will continue if the revised syllabus for Kannada (Class I to X) and Social Science (Class VI to X) is not dropped.

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