At least six seers representing prominent backward and Dalit communities in the state, on Monday met Karnataka chief minister Basvaraj Bommai, demanding that the new school textbooks should be withdrawn as it has ‘several flaws’.
The Backward, Dalit Head Seers Union submitted a list of 22 anomalies in the school textbooks.
“In the social science chapters, a lot of injustice has been done to the achievers from the backward and Dalit communities. This injustice began with the removal of the term ‘Samvidhana Shilpi’’ in reference to Dr BR Ambedkar,” the union said in a letter submitted to the chief minister.“Is it not a mistake to leave out the chapter on Narayana Guru in the topic of social reformers?” they questioned.
The submission of objections came on the same day the Karnataka primary and secondary education ministry issued a circular to make at least eight changes in the textbooks after public outrage.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government has come under sharp criticism over the changes made by the Rohit Chakrathirtha-led textbook revision committee. The government was forced to disband the committee after several seers, academics, writers, activists and opposition leaders attacked the BJP for the revisions.
Though the BJP government has said that it will bring back the title of ‘Samvidhana Shilpi’ in reference to Dr BR Ambedkar, objections of trimming down the passages on Narayana Guru and others have not been included in the government’s list of changes
“We have been informed that there is no truth in the statement that there was no mention of Kempegowda in the previous textbooks. There were two pages on Kempegowda which was reduced to one by the textbook revision committee,” said the union. They added that even parts of Buddhism and Jainism were removed.
“We have listed out only a few things in this letter. The revision of these highlights has led to a lot of imbalance. The constitutional social justice has been sidelined. Instead of countering those who are raising objections about the revisions, there should be an informed and democratic reconsideration,” the seers said.