Seer objects to edits on poet amid textbook row

Updated on Jun 25, 2022 12:40 AM IST

Kanaka Dasa (1509-1609) was a great poet and musician and belonged to the Kurube Gowda community, who were warriors. He was also a social reformer who lashed out at evils like the caste system and the divide between the privileged and the poor.

Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar, former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda and various mutt seers stage a protest against the revision of the school textbooks, in Bengaluru. (ANI)
Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar, former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda and various mutt seers stage a protest against the revision of the school textbooks, in Bengaluru. (ANI)
BySharan Poovanna

Bengaluru

Sri Kaginele Mahasamsthana Kanaka Gurupeetha, one of the holiest religious centres of the politically influential Kuruba community, has written a letter to the Karnataka education minister over the reduction of space to Kanaka Dasa, one of the most revered personalities of the state.

“In the 2021-22 ninth standard social science textbook under Bhakthi Panth and Sufi Panth, there was more than a page of information on Kanaka Dasa. In the 2022-23 ninth standard social science textbook and chapter on Bhakti Panth, there is just one line introduction for unknown reasons,” according to the letter by the matha.

Kanaka Dasa (1509-1609) was a great poet and musician and belonged to the Kurube Gowda community, who were warriors. He was also a social reformer who lashed out at evils like the caste system and the divide between the privileged and the poor.

The head seer of the matha said that the changes made by the new revision committee should be rectified and proper and detailed information provided about Kanaka Dasa and his teachings.

The seer also lashed out at the school textbook revision committee chairperson, Rohit Chakrathirta, stating that he was not an expert and demanded that the government continue the textbooks which were revised under Professor Baraguru Ramchandrappa.

Several other seers from prominent and politically influential communities have also raised objections to distortions, exclusions and edits made to other historical personalities connected with their faiths.

The letter and statements add to the growing controversy over the school textbooks in Karnataka which was revised under Chakrathirtha-led committee, which has now been disbanded after public outcry.

The Basavaraj Bommai-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has been accused of trying to ‘distort history’ by making several controversial changes and nuanced editing to wipe out the contributions of several great historical personalities like Dr BR Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Basavanna, among others. They have also been accused of trying to saffronise the textbooks -- a charge denied by the BJP.

“It is a shame that the BJP government in Karnataka is not gracefully accepting its mistakes in the revision of school textbooks and instead making false allegations to defend its mistakes,” Siddaramaiah, the leader of the opposition, said on Friday.

The Karnataka government on Thursday tried to corner the Congress over the Karnataka school textbook controversy, stating that it was the opposition party-led revision committee which had tried to “hide” atrocities under Muslim rulers, glorifying them and removing references of Hindu kings and kingdoms.

Revenue minister R Ashok said the revision committee under the BJP government had in place all the right aspects of history to be taught to children during its government between 2008-2013.

He said that during the Congress rule between 2013-18, then chief minister Siddaramaiah formed a committee under noted writer Professor Baraguru Ramchandrappa to remove all references to Hindu kings and culture in order to “glorify” and appease the minorities within just two years of the earlier revision.

“ The reason for this change was that there were several mentions of Hindu which have been removed. Like the mention of Hindu Mahasagara which has been changed to the Indian Ocean. From the times of Ramayana and Mahabharatha, it has been referred to as Hindu Mahasagara. Even public sector enterprises under (Jawaharlal) Nehru like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Hindustan Machine Tools were there. They wanted to remove this word Hindu. There were several mentions of Gods like Rama, Krishna, Eshwara, Rajuts, Shivaji but none of these that the Congress liked and named a committee to remove them. There has been a constant feeling to appease minorities that they (Congress) made changes to the textbooks which is now clear,” Ashok said, HT reported.

“The Congress is the one politicising the issue. There were more than 150 mistakes made by the Baraguru Ramchandrappa-led committee under the Congress. There were no objections raised then. Whatever mistakes we have made, which is around 15, we will rectify them and the process for the same has already begun,” according to a member of the education minister BC Nagesh’s office.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, December 05, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals