Karnataka syllabus ‘saffronisation’: Protests called on May 31

Bengaluru: Several organisations, including political parties, writers, women’s and NGOs have decided to stage a state-level protest against the ‘saffronisation’ of school and college syllabus by the ruling BJP government in Karnataka on May 31.

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The protest would be staged at the Freedom Park of Bengaluru. There has been stiff opposition for alleged dropping lessons on freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Tipu Sultan, social reformers Narayana Guru and Periyar from the textbooks of Class 10 Kannada subject.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJP has clarified that it has not dropped lessons on revolutionaries and false propaganda is being taken up against it after the hijab crisis. However, it has defended the omissions and inclusions.

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The government is maintaining that even before the publication and distribution of textbooks, the opposition is being made without any reason.

However, experts warn that the development is likely to disturb the academic environment in the coming days.

The like-minded organisations held a meeting in this regard. Student Federation of India (SFI), National Student Union of India (NSUI), All India Student Federation (AISF), Manava Bandhutva Vedike, Janawadi Women’s Organisation, Dalit organisations, Advocates, some education experts and senior writers have pledged their support for the protest.

They have demanded for termination of the Text Committee Revision Committee headed by Rohith Chakrathirtha.

Meanwhile, the Education department is maintaining that the opposition and few forces are not tolerating the fact that education is given prominence in the state.

B.C. Nagesh, Minister for Education said that the forces tried to play the spoil game with the hijab crisis. Now, they are indulging in sowing seeds of poison by making a propaganda on lessons being dropped on Bhagat Singh, Tipu Sultan, Narayana Guru and other reformers. The textbooks have not been published yet, he said.

“During the Siddaramaiah-headed Congress government the syllabus was said to be a burden. The teachers complained that they couldn’t cover the syllabus in one year. No lessons on revolutionaries Narayan Guru, Bhagat Singh have been dropped. False propaganda is being taken up on social media and otherwise,” he said.

“A few lines have been deleted about social reformer Periyar. The present syllabus says, Lord Ram belongs to the Vaidik culture and Ravan belongs to Dravidian culture. Should the students be taught about this? If this is omitted, progressive thinkers are disturbed. They want Ravan, they do not want Ram,” the minister said.

He had also defended the inclusion of RSS Founder K.B. Hedgewar’s speech in the syllabus. “He joined the revolutionary movement and he was also with the Nagpur Congress Movement, that is why his speech has been included,” he underlined.

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