Students take to streets demanding withdrawal of revised textbooks

The agitating students aired their angry by raising slogans against textbook revision committee and State govt.

The agitating students aired their angry by raising slogans against textbook revision committee and State govt.

As part of the Statewide agitation opposing the revision of school textbooks by Rohith Chakrathirtha-headed textbook revision committee, hundreds of students protested in Kalaburagi and Ballari demanding immediate withdrawal of the changes made by the committee.

Organised under banner of All India Democratic Students’ Organisation, the agitating students aired their angry by raising slogans against textbook revision committee and the State government.

“Lesson about Savitribai Phule, who had fought for the education of women and the downtrodden, Kanakadasa and Purandara Dasa have been dropped from the Social Science textbook meant for Class VII. In the same textbook, the references to Mahad Satyagraha and the Nasik temple entry movement led by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. In the earlier Social Science textbook meant for Class IX, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was called the Architect of the Indian Constitution. But, Rohith Chakrathirtha-headed committee dropped the word ‘Architect’ to downplay Dr. Ambedkar’s contributions to the drafting of the Constitution. In the Kannada textbook meant for Class X, a lesson that shed light on the Vivekananda’s revolutionary and human thoughts is also dropped. Besides, the texts authored by progressive writers P. Lankesh, A.N. Murthy Rao, Sa Ra Abubkar and others have been dropped and the lessons that uphold the regressive right-wing ideology were included,” Hanamanth S.H., district president of the organisation said during the agitation in Kalaburgi.

In another agitation outside the Old Bus Stand in Ballari, Dr. N. Pramod, national vice-president of the organisation, alleged that the textbook revision committee had revised the textbooks in such way that they inculcate communal ideology in the young minds.

“In the name of textbook revision, the committee has ignored the progressive and democratic thoughts of the great thinkers of the land. In their place, it has introduced the texts that uphold communal politics. The inclusion of a speech by K.B. Hedgewar, who had betrayed India’s freedom movement and provoked communal tensions, is the best example of it. There are no clear reasons why the good texts authored by progressive and democratic writers have been dropped. The government should take the objections seriously and completely withdraw the revised textbooks. It should continue with the old textbooks,” Mr. Pramod said.

Pointing to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s assurance for re-revision of certain texts, Ballari district secretary of the organisation Kambali Manjunath said that there was no clarity in the assurance.

“As the opposition to textbook revision grew stronger, Chief Minister assured for re-revision of certain texts such as one on Basavanna. But there is clarity about other errors and misrepresentations. There is no clarity on which texts would be re-revised, who will revise, what the students would read and when the re-revised textbooks would be supplied to students. Instead of making such exercise at the eleventh hour, the government should withdraw the revised textbooks and continue with the old ones,” he demanded.

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