Bengaluru: After disbanding the state textbook review committee, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday ruled out forming a new panel and defended inclusion of a chapter on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder KB Hedgewar.
Speaking to reporters, Bommai said, “There is no question of constituting a new committee. The previous committee was disbanded after its work got over. We will discuss with seers who have written letters to me about the reference of Basavanna in the textbooks. I have already said that ours is a Basava Patha (path) government.”
“The Baragur Ramachandra committee was formed by the previous Congress-led government in 2015. Our committee too looked into the textbook revision. Both the committees had similar recommendations, barring reference to ‘linga deekshe’. We will consider views of all seers who have written to me,” said Bommai.
The Chief Minister also references to Hedgewar in the textbook. “What is wrong with that?” asked Bommai.
The Karnataka government on Friday announced the dissolution of the state textbook review committee. The move came amid controversy over textbook revisions.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Karnataka government has been embroiled in a controversy after the textbook review committee included RSS founder KB Hedgewar’s speech in school textbooks, while allegedly omitting chapters on freedom fighters, social reformers and litterateurs.
Bommai emphasized that the government is open to further revision in the textbooks.
Several seers and prominent personalities had objected to revise a chapter on the 12th-century reformist Basavanna.
Notably, a section of seers alleged that social reformer Basavanna’s teachings have been distorted in the revised Kannada and social science textbooks for Class X students. The seers have also accused that the review committee insulted poet Kuvempu’s state anthem.
The state government issued a clarification that the distorted state anthem was not part of any textbook. The government ordered the cyber crime department to look into the allegations and take necessary actions in this regard.
Bommai also informed that a chapter on Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bengaluru, has been added to the textbook.
A controversy erupted last month over revision in the textbooks. Seers and opposition parties had sought sacking of the review committee chief Rohith Chakratirtha.
Meanwhile, Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said the BJP government is creating controversies while neglecting concerns faced by the people.
“I do not know why the Karnataka government is unnecessarily creating controversies. I am disappointed in the way this government is functioning,” said Kumaraswamy.