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Won’t Allow Saffronised Textbooks, Asserts Rahul Gandhi

| Updated: June 4, 2022 20:59

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday lashed out at the BJP-ruled Karnataka Government and asserted that his party would not allow textbooks that damage the State’s cultural and secular diversity.  

“The Congress will in no way allow textbooks that will be fatal for Karnataka’s diversity,” Rahul Gandhi said in a series of tweets in Kannada.

This comes a day after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the government would revise portions on Lingayatism founder Basavanna while defending the revised textbooks. He also said the textbook revision committee headed by Rohith Chakratirtha stands dissolved.

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“People of Karnataka have always followed principles of social justice and ideals of unity and humanity propounded by great beings,” Gandhi said.

He went on, “The BJP is trying to use textbooks to teach children ideas that go against the life and identity of great beings such as BR Ambedkar, Buddha-Basavanna, Narayana Guru and Kuvempu.” Gandhi said the future of children was given to “ineligible hands”.

Gandhi said the revised textbooks have excluded lessons on social justice, regionalism and gender equality. “The attempt to teach children saffonised lessons is an insult to India, which is the cradle of diversity,” he said, adding that Congress is committed to protect Kannada and its writers.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said dissolution of the Chakratirtha committee was not enough. “If a prejudiced chairman is removed, then how can we accept the textbook revised by his committee,” he asked. “CM has said that the text on Basavanna will be revised after hearing all the objections. Does this mean the revised textbook will be dropped for this academic year?”

The former CM pointed out that many senior writers had withdrawn their works from the revised textbooks. “How can these controversial revised textbooks be used in schools? The only solution to this confusion is to scrap these controversial revised textbooks, constitute a new committee and continue to use the old textbooks,” he said.

He also demanded action against Chakratirtha for “his sadistic comments on eminent authors, writers and intellectuals”.

Meanwhile, former education minister Kimmane Rathnakar of the Congress said the party will take out a protest march from poet Kuvempu’s birthplace Kuppalli in Shivamogga seeking withdrawal of revised textbooks. He said he would urge party leaders and writers to support the march. “Dates of the padayatra would be announced shortly,” he said.

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