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Texts by many progressive writers who have fallen into Karnataka’s textbooks

The textbook review committee headed by Rohith Chakrathirtha decided to remove the texts of writers such as Aravinda Malagatti, L. Basavaraju, BT Lalitha Nayak, K. Neela and others from the Kannada first language textbooks of grades 8 and 9.

The textbook review committee headed by Rohith Chakrathirtha decided to remove the texts of writers such as Aravinda Malagatti, L. Basavaraju, BT Lalitha Nayak, K. Neela and others from the Kannada first language textbooks of grades 8 and 9.

Several writers who have been identified with the progressive stream of Kannada literature have been removed from the new textbooks being revised.

The textbook review committee headed by Rohith Chakrathirtha decided to remove the texts of writers such as Aravinda Malagatti, L. Basavaraju, BT Lalitha Nayak, K. Neela and others from the Kannada first language textbooks of grades 8 and 9. Among those included recently are SL Bhyrappa, a writer and strong supporter of Hindutva ideology.

Arvind Malgatti, Professor at the University of Mysuru.  Case

Arvind Malgatti, Professor at the University of Mysuru. File | Photo credit: BM Siddalingaswamy

The major revision was in Class 9 textbook where Goruru Ramaswamy Iyengar’s prose work “Kannada Moulvi” made way for N. Ranganatha Sharma’s “Ramarajya” and the prose text “Dharma Samadrusti – Vijayanagara Shasana” was replaced by “Nanu Kandanthe Dr” by M. Bhyrappa While the prose “Urubhanga” by L. Basavaraju was replaced by “Channabyradevi” by Gajanana Sharma, the poem “Marali Manege” by Aravinda Malagatti was replaced by “Hemantha” by SV Parameshwara Bhatta. K. Neela’s prose work ‘Ramjan Surakumba’ has been removed and Sushrutha Dodderi’s ‘Holebaagilu’ has been added.

A portion of the excluded writers and authors expressed dismay at the exclusions which they felt upheld constitutional and secular values. “Ramjan Surakumba is my personal experience which bears witness to religious harmony and solidarity. I used the Hyderabad-Karnataka [Kalyana Karnataka] dialect in this prose work. It is only expected that the review committee will not want the theme of community harmony on the RSS agenda,” said Ms. Neela.

Professor Malagatti said: “Academics should not be guided by any particular ideology or program. The school curriculum should be like ever-flowing water. The committee is free to revise any text, but to do so on the basis of an ideology or an agenda is dangerous for society and our educational system.

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