Skeletons continue to tumble out of the closet even after the dissolution of the Rohith Chakrathirtha-headed School Textbook Revision Committee. In the latest revelations, lessons on State icons of the Bhakti and Sufi movements, such as Akka Mahadevi, Purandaradasa, Kanakadasa, and Santa Shishunala Sharif have been removed in the revised textbooks, while national icons have gained prominence.
The committee has completely dropped the ‘Bhakti movement and Sufi movement’ lessons from the class VII, Social Science part-1 textbook. But national icons in Bhakti and Sufi movements, like Mira Bai, Guru Nanak, and Chaitanya’s lessons are repeated in class VI and IX, Social Science part 2 textbooks.
There is no mention about State icons in the Bhakti and Sufi movements from classes I to X in the revised Social Science textbooks.
The Baragur Ramachandrappa-headed textbook revision committee had added ‘Bhakti movement and Sufi movement’ lessons in class VII, Social Science part 1 textbook and given information about South Indian icons such as Andal from Tamil Nadu and State icons of these movements like Akka Mahadevi, Purandaradasa, Kanakadasa, and Santa Shishunala Sharif along with national icons of Bhakti movement like Chaitanya, Mira Bai, and Guru Nanak. The committee had also kept the same lesson in class IX Social Science part 2 with additional information.
The revised books mention only Kanakadasa and Purandaradasa’s names and two of their works in the Class IX social science part 2 textbooks, while the rest of the icons’ names have been removed.
Ashwath Narayana, member of the the Baragur Ramachandrappa-headed Social Science textbook revision committee, told The Hindu, “All Bhakti and Sufi movement icons’ major concern was social equality and social harmony. It is very unfortunate that the recent textbook revision committee has dropped our regional Bhakti and Sufi movements’ great icons. For the betterment of our children, I request the government to re-introduce the regional icons in the lessons.”
The textbook revision committee has apparently triggered one more controversy by describing Sufi saint Bababudan as worshipper of Dattatreya.
It may be noted that the BJP has launched a campaign to “liberate” Datta Peetha at Bababudangiri.