“In that speech, Hedgewar has spoken about the importance of society and the nation. What's wrong with that?" Karnataka Primary & Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh said.

File photo of founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Keshav Baliram HedgewarSudhirn/Wikepedia Commons 3.0 Unported
news Controversy Monday, May 16, 2022 - 19:04

The inclusion of a speech by the founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in a revised Kannada textbook for Class 10 students has stirred a row in the state. The speech in the Class 10 textbook has been included under a lesson called “Nijavada Adarsha Purusha Yaraagabeku?” (Who is an ideal role model?). 

The revision in the Class 10 textbook has triggered outrage. The inclusion of Hedgewar’s speech has been objected to by organisations like the All-India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) and All-India Save Education Committee (AISEC). It has been reported that while the Hedgewar speech has been added to the syllabus, a lesson on freedom fighter Bhagat Singh has been omitted, while other additions to the textbook include works by the  Vedic scholar late Bannanje Govindacharya and Shatavadhani R Ganesh’s “Shrestha Bharatiya Chintanegalu,” as per a report in The Hindu.  

The organisations have also pointed out that works by renaissance literary figures like AN Murthi Rao's ‘Vyaghrageethe', P Lankesh's ‘Mruga Mattu Sundari,' and Sara Aboobacker's ‘Yuddha,' have also been omitted from the textbook. 

The AISEC issued a statement condemning this, and alleged that the BJP government in the state is trying to force the ideology of RSS and the party into the textbooks, 

Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh defended the inclusion of the speech, saying that the textbook does not contain anything about Hedgewar or RSS, but only his speech on what should be an inspiration to people, especially the youth, and that those who have raised objections have not gone through the textbook.

"Some people want to object to everything and they feel what they have said is only the truth and only their thinking has to be told to society...In that speech, Hedgewar had said that one has to take ideology, values and principles as his or her inspiration. He has spoken about the importance of society and the nation. What's wrong with that?" the Minister said.

With PTI inputs

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