Bengaluru: Ruling BJP party’s move to have PUC-II history textbooks reviewed by textbook review committee headed by reportedly right-wing writer Rohit Chakratheertha is likely to create a stir in Karnataka.
The development comes at a time when the revision of Kannada language textbooks from 1st to SSLC (grade 10) and social studies textbooks from 6th to 10th has sparked a dispute.
The BJP government has ordered to transfer the responsibility of revising Lesson 4.2 “Birth of New Religions” of the social science textbook prescribed for II-PUC students to the committee, the sources said.
Regarding this situation, the Minister of Education, BC Nagesh had written a memo on February 17, 2022 to the principal secretary of the department, sources explain.
Lesson 4.2 for Social Science Book II PUC in the title “Birth of New Religions – Jainism and Buddhism” says that the confusions, rule of priests, sacrifice of animals, prayers, caste system and birth of legends led to the birth of new religions. This story has created controversy.
Minister Nagesh’s memo says there is a complaint about lesson 4.2 in the history book about hurting the feelings of a particular religion.
The revision committee, under the chairmanship of Rohit Chakratheertha, was formed to revise primary and secondary school textbooks. Necessary steps should be taken to hand over the revision work for Lesson 4.2 to the Rohit Chakratheertha committee and publication of the revised textbook for the 2022-23 academic year.
Alleging suppression of the lessons of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, social reformer Narayana Guru, leader of Mysuru Tipu Sultan, opposition leaders have already expressed concern. They also objected to the inclusion of RSS founder KB Hedgewar’s speech in the lesson. Now the matter is likely to be challenged by them.
Lesson 4.2 on the birth of new religions explains that the vaidik religion was simple before the influence of the priests. After their influence, religion became complex, leaving people discouraged. They wanted change and they found help in new religions.
The lesson further says that the Brahmins have established their authority over all other castes. It had become difficult for people to drive yagas without brahmins. They enjoyed more advantages and believed themselves to be superior to others.
When people were discontented and discouraged, the great personalities Mahaveer and Gautam Budha were born. They taught principles and virtues in simple languages that could be understood by the people. Ordinary people were drawn to these religions for the same religion, the lesson reads.
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