Published: 29th August 2022
Does Karnataka's Kannada school textbook say VD Savarkar "flew on bulbuls"?
Recently, a chapter in the Class VIII Kannada textbook titled "Kalavannu Geddavaru" on RSS leader VD Savarkar went viral on social media and has drawn flak
The row over Karnataka school textbooks refuses to die down. Recently, a chapter in the Class VIII Kannada textbook titled Kalavannu Geddavaru on RSS leader VD Savarkar went viral on social media and has drawn flak.
It has been alleged that the freedom fighter has been treated with apparent "glorification" in the lesson. The chapter is a travelogue written by author KT Gatti, narrating his experience about a visit to the Andaman cellular jail where the Hindutva leader was imprisoned, as mentioned in a report by PTI.
In his description of the prison cell in which Savarkar was lodged, the author writes, "There is not even a keyhole in Savarkar's cell, but still somehow bulbul birds used to come flying inside the cell and, sitting on their wings, Savarkar used to visit his motherland every day and return." The chapter has been criticised, while the author and the Karnataka government have been mocked by social media users.
Some users have defended the author by stating that the reference seemed to be a poetic expression or a metaphor used by the writer as part of his narration and should not be taken in a literal sense. But it has not gone down well with many others.
People have ridiculed the words in the paragraph and have even tweeted caricatures of Savarkar sitting on a bird. Meanwhile, another section of the crowd has called it the "worst form of political propaganda" and the chapter as "destroying of the education system". Karnataka Congress MLA and the party's Chairman of Communications, Priyank Kharge, in a tweet regarding the paragraph, agrees with this faction. "This doesn't sound like it was meant to be a metaphor," reads his tweet, as per PTI.