K’taka saffronising school texts: Panel

Allegations of saffronisation of school textbooks in BJP-ruled Karnataka have reached the Centre with demands for a thorough probe into "academically poor and saffronised textbooks with many a distortion and misrepresentation".

The Committee for Resisting Saffronisation of Education has submitted a memorandum to the NCERT as well as to Human Resource Development Minister Pallam Raju alleging that the new textbooks released for class V and VIII by the Karnataka Textbook Society are for most part against the spirit of the National Curriculum Framework 2005 and have a "hidden agenda to instill and build up non-secular values, religious fundamentalism and the idea of a Hindu Rashtra in crores of young and impressionable minds".

The NCERT is learnt to have written to their counterparts in Karnataka on the issue seeking their response on it, sources confirmed.

The committee has in its memorandum — a copy of which is with The Indian Express — said that while the new textbooks have been released by the Karnataka Textbook Society (under the DSERT), these were not subjected to scrutiny by independent or well-known educationists and nor was public opinion invited on them.

The committee has alleged that these books contain lessons that "treat Dalits, women, adivasis and minorities as inferior beings whereas NCF 2005 clearly recommends that the curriculum should be culturally neutral". It is alleged that history presentation in the textbooks was found "toeing the line of the Sangh Parivar".

Pointing out specific instances from the class V social science textbook, the committee has said that there is a clear anti-minority bias in content depicting Muslim kings as persecuting Hindu subjects and Hindu kings only fighting Muslim kings. An instance from the class VIII Hindi textbook refers to a lesson on 'Punyakoti' where a tiger takes an oath saying that "consumption of cow's meat is a bad thought; henceforth, I will not eat cow's meat", whereas the original Kannada version mentions no such oath.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.