BANGALORE: Sticking to their stand, officials from the Department of Public Instruction and Department of State Education and Research Training (DSERT) have firmly ruled out the cancellation of class five and eight textbooks that allegedly have ‘saffronised’ content.
The department takes this stand even as several students and minority organisations demand the withdrawal of the drafts of textbooks alleging tilt towards Hindutva ideals. “The question of recalling of textbooks does not arise. Preparation of textbooks has already started as per the National Curriculum Framework (2005) and the process has been delayed already,” said Tushar Girinath, Commissioner of Public Instruction.
On allegations of saffronisation in the textbooks, he said, “I cannot find the meaning of that word in any dictionary. This is a democracy and people are free to air their views. I have referred the objections to the authorities concerned in DSERT. It is being reviewed, and let us believe in the wisdom of the experts,”he further said.
‘What is Saffronisation?'
One of the objectionable parts in the Social Science textbook draft was a map of Pracheena Bharat (a map of ancient India that shows Pakistan, Afghanistan, Burma, Bangladesh and Nepal as a part of India).
G S Mudambadittaya, who heads the committee of experts that framed the new syllabus at DSERT, said, “How can we ignore our history? If portraying our past to children is saffronisation, then I have nothing to say. The map has been retained as there is nothing saffron about how India was in the ancient period.”
He added that 90 per cent of the textbooks were already being printed.
“Revision of some of the contents started even before the allegations. We have taken suggestions from all the committees and have made necessary changes,” he said. He added that the textbooks would be ready to be given to schools by April.