Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar on Thursday directed the Commissioner for Public Instruction (CPI) to take steps to drop relevant paragraphs from the Class 6 Social Science textbook which were deemed to be "insinuating remarks against the Brahmin community".
In a note to the CPI, Kumar said that the paras which appear in page number 82 and 83 are irrelevant and not suitable for such a young age. "The CPI must take steps to issue a circular to drop this lesson from the syllabus with immediate effect," he stated in his note.
Quoting the textbook excerpts, Kumar stated that Kshatriyas who had to counsel Brahmins all the time were fed up and were responsible for new religions to usher in the society. "Kshatriyas are the ones who encouraged new religions like Jainism and Buddhism to flourish in the country," the minister observed in his note.
A delegation of the Karnataka State Brahmin Development Board had met Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa with an official representation on the issue. The board sought the removal of portions of a chapter which talked about food scarcity in the Vedic period (1500 BC to 600 BC) because homa and havana (fire rituals) were performed by offering large quantities of foodgrains, milk, ghee and other materials, Times of India reported.
The minister's note sent to the CPI said that lesson number seven of the Class 6 Social Science textbook titled 'Emergence of New Religions' mentions that Brahmins used to offer sacrifices like agricultural animals, and offered milk and ghee to the fire god during 'havan', which caused food scarcity in those times.
"Such anomalies that have crept into the text book need to be dropped as they hurt religious sentiments," he said in his note.
However, the government's decision to drop the paragraphs has raised eyebrows, with educationists and activists in the state saying that the issue should be studied thoroughly before such a decision is taken.
Last year, the Karnataka government found itself under pressure to remove chapters related to Tipu Sultan, the former ruler of the Mysore kingdom. After studying the issue, the state government dropped the proposal.