Poem on Savarkar, lesson on KB Hedgewar dropped: Changes in Karnataka syllabus sparks row

"We believe students of India and Karnataka should study (BR) Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi rather than studying KB Hedgewar and Veer Savarkar's ideologies," said Gourav Vallabh.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

BENGALURU: In a revision to Kannada and Social Science subjects in Karnataka school textbooks, the state cabinet has dropped off a lesson on RSS founder KB Hedgewar and a poem on Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar from the school syllabus.

While a lesson on Hedgewar and a poem on Savarkar is out, a letter written by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru has found its place in the social science textbook.

This comes after the Congress government in Karnataka ordered 18 changes in Kananda and Social Science subjects for classes 6 to 10. According to the list of revisions released by Karnataka Textbook Society, the Congress government has dropped a lesson on RSS founder KB Hedgewar, 'Who Should Be an Ideal Man', and replaced it with a lesson titled 'Story of Sukumara Swamy' authored by Shivakotacharya in class 10 in the Kannada language.

The recent textbook revision, especially the omission of Savarkar and Hedgewar from the Karnataka school textbook has led to a political row in the country.

On Saturday, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari criticised the Karnataka government's move to revise school textbooks in the State and said that it is "unfortunate" that the chapters on Dr Hedgewar and Swatantra Veer Savarkar have been removed.

He was addressing a gathering at the book launch ceremony on VD Savarkar. "It is unfortunate that the chapters on Dr Hedgewar and Swatantra Veer Savarkar have been removed from the school syllabus. There is nothing more painful than this," said Gadkari on Saturday.

Explaining the Karnataka government's reasoning behind removing the right-wing ideologues from the state school syllabus, Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said, "There are two different ideologies in this country. We believe students of India and Karnataka should study (BR) Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi's ideologies rather than studying KB Hedgewar and Veer Savarkar's ideologies. We do not believe in the ideology which claims Godse, the man who gunned down Mahatma Gandhi to be a freedom fighter." 

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