Bengaluru: Text book content revision exercise was carried out by committee headed by Rohit Chakrathirtha. The changes suggested subsequently seem to impose ideological blinkers, create communal divide and do not reflect multicultural and plural realities of the society. Many questions and concerns were raised right from the beginning of the exercise.
Committee entrusted with carrying out review has its chairman who do have any academic credentials or expertise to oversee the process of review and ensure strict adherence to constitutional values and NCF. Government must clarify on what basis was Rohit Chakrathirtha was appointed as chairman of the committee.
Text books must remain independent of the political authority of the times. Change in government and political leadership must not warrant change in the content of text books to reflect and satisfy the views and perspectives of the current ruling dispensation. SIO Karnataka demands that government must clarify as why the review process was initiated within less than 5 years of last review? 83 titles of textbooks of social science from class VI to X and Kannada from classes from I to X are revised and approved. Kannada textbook of class X itself has six chapters removed and eight new chapters added under the supervision of the current committee. What has prompted for such major changes in a single textbook within this short span?
The committee to review the text book content and suggest changes did not have the diverse voices from the social spectrum. The authors whose contents it has suggested, the changes that are being made based on this committee’s recommendations all indicate outright ideological bias and exclusionary. Selective omissions related to Periyar, Narayan Guru and Bhagat Singh and Vivekananda reflect the kind of approach this committee has taken. This is bound to create communal divide and will have far reaching impact on the young and formative minds. The committee should have ensured strict adherence to constitutional ideals, scientific temper.
Any changes to text books must be in compliance with NCF. Text book Revision exercise must not be undertaken to impose any ideological and dogmatist biases. Textbooks must reflect the plurality and diversity of our society. Attempts to define and restrict knowledge sources by current ruling dispensation and subsequent justifications and reasoning give raise to concerns that attempts of manipulating young minds are being made.
SIO Karnataka demands that the suggested changes be immediately put on hold and consider suggestions from academicians and stakeholders.