Karnataka private schools tells govt not to force them to buy textbooks

Textbook controversy: Works of Kannada authors who withdrew permission dropped

September 23, 2022
– Reshma Ravishanker

Budging to the demands of some Kannada authors, the Karnataka government has consented to the omission of their works for study or examination following the state syllabus school textbooks revision controversy.

The government in a circular on September 23 has enlisted 7 chapters in the state syllabus Kannada textbooks that will neither be taught in class nor considered while drafting examination question papers for students.

The works that have been excluded from Kannada textbooks are: ‘Yedege Bidda Akshara’, authored by Devanuru Mahadeva (class 10, first language), ‘Bhagat Singh’ by Dr G Ramakrishna (class 10, first language), ‘Ammanaguvudendare’ poem by Rupa Hassan (class 9, third language), ‘Heegondu top prayana’ by Eshwarappa M Kambali (class 10, third language), ‘Kattatevu Naavu’ poem by Satish Kulkarni (class10, third language), ‘Yeni’ poem by Sukanya Maruthi (class 10, second language) and ‘Dr Rajkumar’ by Doddahalluru Rukkojirao (class 6, first language).

 It may be recollected that several Kannada authors had written to the state government expressing displeasure over works of authors including L Basavaraju, AN Murthy Rao, P Lankesh, and Sara Aboobacker being dropped in the wake of revision of textbooks. Authors such as Devanuru Mahadeva and G Ramakrishna had alleged that the works of their authors were dropped because of their ideological differences with the BJP-run state.

In May 2022, these authors also wrote to the state government withdrawing permission to use their works for study in schools as a mark of protest against the textbook revision committee’s decision to drop some author’s works from the curriculum. Mahadeva criticised the omission of works of these authors and said that the revised textbooks “failed to understand the essence of Kannada literature and the state’s culture.”

These authors had also expressed displeasure over the state government’s decision to appoint author Rohit Chakrateertha, who is perceived to be a right ideologue as the textbooks committee chairperson.

Also read: Karnataka textbooks row: “I had no agenda”, says Rohith Chakratirtha

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