BENGALURU: Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh on Tuesday said the government has decided to place before the people the contents of the original textbook and those revised by the erstwhile Congress and the present BJP regimes.
The move comes amid the raging controversy over the revision of textbooks with a section of society raising objections over the changes.
He also reiterated that the government was open for further revision if there is any objectionable content in the freshly revised textbooks, after taking into account the collective opinion expressed by the people.
"We will place in the public domain the contents of the original textbook that was prepared by Mudambadithaya headed committee, also what was omitted and what was introduced into the textbooks during Siddaramaiah's tenure (as CM), and what has been included during our (BJP) tenure," Nagesh said.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai here, he said in a democracy, people are king, and if they feel that there are mistakes in the revised textbooks, the government is with an open mind to further review it, as the CM has already stated.
The controversy had erupted with some organisations raising objections over the alleged replacing of a chapter on Bhagat Singh with an essay on a speech by RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in the revised Kannada textbook for Class 10.
Subsequently, there were allegations about the omission of a chapter on Narayana Guru and several other prominent figures and their literary works.
There have been demands by opposition Congress and some writers for sacking the textbook review committee chief Rohith Chakratirtha for allegedly "saffronising" school textbooks by including Hedgewar's speech and omitting chapters on key figures like freedom fighters, social reformers, and writings of noted literary figures.
There are also allegations of erroneous content on 12th-century social reformer Basavanna and certain factual errors in the textbooks, including accusations of disrespecting 'Raashtra Kavi' (national poet) Kuvempu and distortion of the state anthem penned by him.
Stating he had expected the controversy to end, after the CM expressed willingness for further review textbooks if there are any objectionable content or mistakes, the Minister accused opponents of trying to politicise the issue, despite clarifications promising to restore the chapter on Basavanna to its earlier form and reintroduction of a line in a chapter on Ambedkar that was omitted.
"We are ready to face political challenges politically in the days to come," he added.
Following the raging controversy over schools textbooks that were recently revised, Bommai on Friday "disbanded" the textbook review committee, as its designated work was completed, and had said that the government is open for further revision if there are any objectionable content Further suggesting that let people tell whether it is wrong to include a chapter on Kempegowda or Kuvempu and his works, the Minister said, "let people say- if they wanted the chapters on Tipu Sultan to continue in the earlier form, was the introduction of sex education for class seven students under previous regime was right, and removing a poem on Kannada flag was a right decision."
"People will decide, we will place before them. Let people say was removing a chapter on 'Bharat Mata', martyr Sandeep Unnikrishnan, and introduction of a chapter on Nehru by removing the one on Hindu culture by the previous textbook review committee -- headed by Prof Baraguru Ramachandrappa (during Congress govt) was right," he added.
The committee headed by Chakrathirtha was constituted to examine social science and language textbooks and revise them.
The committee has partially revised social science text books from class 6 to 10 and Kannada language textbooks from class 1 to 10.