Changes made to the textbooks include removal of lessons on Mahatma Gandhi, Dr BR Ambedkar and inclusion of essays by RSS ideologues Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and KB Hedgewar.

Basavaraj Bommai folded hands, orange backgroundKarnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai
news Textbook Row Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 17:38

Why are progressive groups in Karnataka agitating against the school textbooks drafted by the committee headed by controversial rightwing orator Rohith Chakrathirtha? What sections have been twisted out of context, what parts have been saffronised and which progressive ideas have been suppressed in these texts? For the first time since the controversy began, we now have an exhaustive list showing the various acts of commission and omissions by the Chakrathirtha committee.

The list, compiled by the researcher and writer Harshakumar Kugve, shows that several lessons by Dalit writers as well as progressive, reformist writers speaking against communalism and caste hierarchy, and for gender equality and social justice, were dropped. Chapters on social reforms like eradication of untouchability, gender discrimination and child trafficking have been completely removed.

The changes also include the removal of significant lessons on Mahatma Gandhi, Dr BR Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru and the addition of lessons on RSS ideologues Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and KB Hedgewar.

Kugve noted that writings of around 27 Dalit writers in total were dropped, and 95% of the lessons replacing them were written by Brahmins.

Here is the list of the significant changes retained in the final version of the textbooks.

Class 5 Kannada: ‚ÄėNanna Kavithe‚Äô (My poems) by well known poet Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy has been dropped. He has been a vocal advocate of the Bandaya literary movement in Karnataka and used his poems to speak against the caste system. Bandaya movement is a progressive movement in Kannada literature that was started in 1974.

Class 5 Kannada: 'Sullu Helabaradu' (One should not lie) by writer Bolwar Mahammad Kunhi has been dropped without explanation. Kunhi was the first writer to bring Muslim culture into Kannada fiction prose writing. He had also written extensively on misconceptions about Islam.

Class 5 Kannada: A lesson titled ‚ÄėHosa Dharmagala Udaya‚Äô (Emergence of new religions) has been dropped without explanation. Experts say that the lesson had a useful perspective about religious harmony.

Class 6 Kannada: A poem written about Dr BR Ambedkar titled ‚ÄėNee Hoda Marudina‚Äô (The day after you left) by writer and poet Chennanna Walikar has been removed without explanation. Walikar was another Bandaya movement poet who wrote extensively for upliftment of marginalised communities.

Class 6 Kannada: A poem titled ‚ÄėKoodi Nanna Balavya‚Äô (My Life in totality) by writer Malathi Pattanshetty has been deleted with no explanation. Pattanshetty is an award-winning writer who has served as the chairperson of Karnataka Sahitya Academy. She has used her writing to raise voice against social injustices and has encouraged others to do the same.

Class 6 Kannada: A poem by writer and former Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP) President Manu Baligar titled ‚ÄėBaa Bega Surya‚Äô (Come Soon, Sun) has been removed. Baligar had vociferously protested Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) not holding entrance exams in Kannada and had written to the then CM Yediyurappa, asking him to urge the Union government to conduct the exams in Kannada.

Class 6 Kannada: An essay by HS Shivaprakash titled ‚ÄėMagu maththu hannugalu‚Äô (Child and fruits) has been removed. Shivaprakash is a writer and professor in Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Class 7 Kannada: Dr HS Anupama‚Äôs essay on Savitribai Phule has been deleted. In its place, a lesson titled ‚ÄėThe First Lesson of Social Responsibility‚Äô, written by Ramanada Acharya, a writer associated with RSS-run Kannada weekly Vikrama, has been added.

Class 7 Social Science: A lesson on women social reformers featuring Savitribai Phule, Tarabai Shinde, Pandit Ramabai has been dropped.

Class 7 Social Science: A lesson titled ‚ÄėGandhi Yuga‚Äô (Gandhi‚Äôs era) which spoke about Mahatma Gandhi‚Äôs early days in the Freedom Movement, Champaran and farmer‚Äôs agitation has been dropped.


A lesson Mahatma Gandhi's early days in freedom struggle has been deleted

Class 7 Social Science: A lesson titled 'Ambedkar Maththu Avara Sudharanegalu' (Ambedkar and his reforms) in which details of Ambedkar’s early days, his native village, his parents, the Mahad Satyagraha, Dalit entry into Kalaram temple that he led, have all been deleted.

Class 7 Social Science: A lesson called ‚ÄėMahila Swatantra Horatagararu‚Äô (Women freedom fighters) featuring Rani Abbakka Devi, Ballari Siddamma, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, Yashodhara Dasappa, Umabai Kundapur has been deleted in its entirety.

Class 8 Kannada: A chapter called 'Blood Group' by Vijayamala Ranganath, a lesson about social equality, has been replaced by a chapter on Savarkar called 'Kaalavannu Geddaru' (the one who wins the season) by the author KT Gatti.

Class 8 Kannada: ‚ÄėMagalige Bareda Pathragalu‚Äô (Letters from a Father to His Daughter), Jawaharlal Nehru, translated by Thi Tha Sharma, Siddanahalli Krishna Sharma has been replaced by Bhookailasa, a mythological play by Parampalli Narasimha Aithal.

Class 8 Social Science: A chapter on geographical features, ancient world civilisations, ancient Indian civilisations, rise of Jainism and Buddhism has been changed to India, Sindhu Saraswathi civilisation, Sanathana Dharma, words of Jain and Buddhist religion.

Class 8 Social Science: Oral citations: In the description, examples of Kumararaya, Chitradurga's Nayakas, Kempe Gowda, Tipu Sultan, Sangolli Rayanna, Kittur Chennamma, Sindhoor Lakshmana, Meadows Taylor have been replaced by examples from vedas and Mahabharata.

Class 8 Social Science: Map of India's political divisions has been replaced by a map of 'Akhand Bharath' as imagined by the RSS.

Class 8 Social Science: Chapter on human rights has been removed.

Class 8 Social Science: There were three pages of information on Ashoka's empire. This has been reduced. In particular, sections on Buddhism and Ashoka and inscriptions of Ashoka have been removed.

Class 9 Kannada: Dalit writer Aravind Malagatti's poem on Buddha, 'Marali Manege' (back home), has been removed.

Class 9 Social Science: There was a chapter on Christianity and Islam. There is now a chapter on Contemporary Religions and there is a confusing statement that religion and dharma are different.

Class 9 Social Science: In the chapter 'Namma Samvidhaana' (Our Constitution), there was a line which said Ambedkar is the architect of the Constitution highlighting his contribution. This has been removed and instead, BN Rau has been credited with a key part in drafting the Constitution.


A line that called Dr Ambedkar as the architect of the Indian Constitution has been removed

Class 10 Kannada: 'Yuddha' (War), a prose by Sara Aboobacker has been dropped. Sara Aboobacker is a prominent Muslim Kannada writer.

Class 10 Kannada: Swami Vivekananda's teachings have been removed. Philosopher and Sanskrit scholar Bannanje Govindacharya's writings have been included.

Class 10 Kannada: RSS founder KB Hedgewar's speech 'Nijavaada Aadarsha Purusha Yaaraagabeku' (Who is an ideal role model?) has been added.

Class 10 Kannada: Stories ‚ÄėMruga‚Äô (The Beast) and ‚ÄėSundari‚Äô (The Beauty) by P Lankesh have been removed. P Lankesh was a well known journalist, progressive writer, among other roles he donned. He is the father of slain journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh.

Class 10 Kannada: The lesson ‚ÄėJanapada ogatugalu‚Äô (folk riddles) has been removed, replaced by ‚ÄėHeng Pungli‚Äô fame writer Chakravarthy Sulibele‚Äôs ‚ÄėIndia‚Äôs Eternal Children‚Äô (‚ÄėBharatiya Amaraputraru‚Äô). Sulibele is a popular, provocative orator and right-wing ideologue.

Class 10 Social Science: Lesson on freedom struggle in the time of Gandhi has been removed. In this lesson, it was mentioned in the section about Ambedkar that, ‚ÄúTired of the caste system, he left Hinduism, opposed caste system and social stratification and adopted Buddhism.‚ÄĚ Instead, the lesson now says, ‚ÄúFrom a young age, he was tired of Hinduism and adopted Buddhism, which is part of the Hindu culture."


A line which spoke of Ambedkar's frustration with Hinduism has been deleted

Class 10 Social Science: Lesson on India’s foreign policy has been completely removed.

Class 10 Social Science: Societal and religious reforms lessons on Narayana Guru’s Dharma Paripalana Yogam, Theosophical Society, Young Bengal movement and Periyar, have been completely removed.

Class 10 Social Science: Lesson on social movements has been completely removed.

Class 10 Social Science: Lesson on ‚ÄėProblems in Society‚Äô (Samajyaka Samasyegalu) has been changed to ‚Äėsocietal questions‚Äô (Samajika Savalugalu) and a new element on ‚Äėregionalism‚Äô has been added. It says language struggle is against the interests of the country. Telangana is used as an example.


Movement for equality for all Indian languages has been portrayed as against national interest

Class 10 Social Science: Lesson on movements to eradicate untouchability has been removed.

Class 10 Social Science: Lesson on gender discrimination, child marriage, child trafficking has been completely removed.

With inputs from Aditi Kumar