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RSS founder’s speech now part of Kannada textbook

By Jayanth R.

In a clear sign of Hindutva ideology entering school curriculum in Karnataka, the State government has adopted the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar’s speech as one of the lessons in Class X Kannada (first language, State syllabus) textbook from the 2022-23 academic year.

The text of the speech of Hedgewar was recommended to be included in the syllabus by the ​Textbook Revision Committee, headed by writer Rohith Chakrateertha.

The lesson is titled “Nijavada Adarsha Purusha Yaraagabeku?” (Who should be the real role model?). It is number 5 in the Kannada prose textbook, which is now in the process of being printed. The committee had submitted its final report to the government in March.

Lankesh dropped

From the Kannada non-detailed text, lessons dropped include those of well-known writer and journalist P. Lankesh’s “Mruga Mattu Sundari” and Leftist thinker G. Ramakrishna’s “Bhagat Singh”. Instead, writer Shivananda Kalave’s “Swadeshi Sutrada Sarala Habba” and M. Govinda Pai’s “Naanu Prasa Bitta Kathe” have been added.

Among the lessons dropped in the detailed text are Sara Aboobacker’s “Yuddha”, A.N. Murthy Rao’s “Vyaghra Kathe”, and Shivakotyacharya’s “Sukumara Swamy Kathe”. Among the inclusions in this section are Vedic scholar the late Bannanje Govindacharya’s “Sukanashana Upadesha” and Shatavadhani R. Ganesh’s “Shrestha Bharatiya Chintanegalu”.

‘As a writer’

Insisting that it was not an ideological imposition, Mr. Chakrateertha told The Hindu: “There was no pressure from any political party or organisation. This does not amount to imposing any organisation’s ideology on students. We have chosen Hedgewar as a writer and not on the basis of his ideology or organisation.”

B.C. Nagesh, Minister, Primary and Secondary Education, also insisted that there was “nothing objectionable” in the inclusions and exclusions done in the textbooks, while many progressive writers and activists have objected to what they termed attempts to infuse Hindutva ideology among students.

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Dive Deeper:
Inclusion of Hedgewar’s speech as a lesson in Kannada textbook draws criticism
Bengaluru
Section of academics slam inclusion of Hedgewar lesson in textbook
Minister says there is nothing in the changed textbook that hurts secular values
No revised textbooks in Karnataka for next three months
Delay of submission of the textbook review committee’s report and tendering process are the main reasons that caused the delay…
Activist struggles to file FIR against Hindu Janjagruti Samiti member over communally provocative statements
Police register FIR on Friday, but only after directions from the court
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Bommai will lead BJP in Assembly elections in Karnataka: C.T. Ravi
BJP’s national general secretary justifies Bajrang Dal’s firearm training to youths in Kodagu stating it is meant to impart self-defence…
Only 3 reviewers said Florida math textbooks violated 'critical race theory' rules. Yet the state rejected dozens
MIAMI — When the Florida Department of Education announced it was rejecting 54 math textbooks, it pointed to a “thorough…
Get all your news in one place