BENGALURU: The Telangana education department is looking at the best way to pass down lessons from the life and achievements of the 12th-century social reformer Basavanna.
The saint from Karnataka is popular for bringing down caste and gender barriers, especially through his poems, popularly known as ‘Vachanaas’. His Anubhava Mantapa – or “hall of spiritual experience” – welcomed people from across the social strata for discussions concerning them and human nature in general, which was said to have an impact on the way the Constituent Assembly of India was formed.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Dr B Janardhan Reddy, secretary to Telangana education minister, admitted that they recently received a request for the inclusion of Basavanna’s life and achievements in the textbooks of schools and colleges in Telangana. “The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) will research where it can possibly be incorporated. So far, schools impart a few lessons on Basavanna in subjects like Social Science and Telugu.
However, to implement it at the college level, research will be conducted by the Department of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT) to ascertain where it can be implemented,” Reddy said.
Finance Minister of Telangana, Thaneeru Harish Rao, who made the request to the state’s education department, was not available for comment as he did not respond to several attempts to contact him. Welcoming the move, Kannada writer and thinker Prof Baraguru Ramachandrappa, who was part of the Karnataka Textbook Society in Karnataka, said Basavanna cannot be limited to one state or community. His message of Bhakti is universal, and advocates Dehave Degula, meaning ‘Body is the temple’, which departs from the need to visit a place of worship.
Vachanakaras like Akka Mahadevi and Basavanna and their writings had an influence beyond Karnataka (which was part of a province then and not a state) where Veerashaivism and Lingayat movements had pervaded, he said.