Karnataka Congress protests against Bommai government over textbook dispute; ask for old books

A day before the Rajya Sabha elections, Congress leaders on Thursday staged a massive protest against Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s government in Karnataka outside the Vidhan Soudha (state legislature) in Bangaluru over the review line manuals. Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar and former CM Siddaramaiah were seen leading the protest, demanding the withdrawal of new textbooks and the return of old textbooks for school.

Congress workers gathered in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue of the Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru and protested against the revision of textbooks by the state’s BJP government. Carrying the protest cards, Congress leaders were seen calling the newly revised manuals “RSS books”. Speaking to reporters, former CM Siddarmaiah said if the government did not listen to their demands, his party would take to the streets. “The government hasn’t taken the manual away. I hope they think about it or we go to the streets,” Siddarmaiah said.

It is pertinent to mention that the state wing of the big old party has been protesting against the textbook review committee for a month, demanding that no changes be made to the textbooks. Notably, DK Shivakumar on 07th June had announced that he would organize a protest against the Basavaraj Bommai government over textbook revision line at Vidhan Soudha on 09th June.

‘BJP government commits cultural atrocities’: DK Shivakumar

Raising his objection to the revised textbooks, DK Shivakumar on Tuesday said the BJP was committing the cultural atrocity while also suggesting to “throw the revised textbooks in the trash”. “Writers, thinkers and various organizations who have spoken out against the government’s decision to support textbook revision. On June 9, at 10 a.m., a demonstration will take place in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Vidhan Soudha,” he said.

“However, the BJP government has resorted to cultural atrocity by twisting many great ideas, including Kuvempu in the Revised Children’s School Book,” DK Shivakumar added. Hitting the government, Congress leader DK Shivakumar added, “This is the first time in the history of Karnataka that the pointiffs of pooches, writers and organizations except political leaders are strongly denouncing the government’s approach to textbook reform.

Karnataka government on textbook revision controversy

Earlier, CM Bommai assured that the necessary measures would be taken following the report of the Minister of Education and informed that he had met the seer of Adichunchanagiri Mutt.

On the other hand, defending speech included by Hedgewar in a revised Kannada textbook, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education BC Nagesh claimed that the textbook had nothing on Hedgewar or RSS, but only part of his speech to inspire people, especially the youth.

Colin L. Johnson