Kannada writer and Saraswathi Samman awardee S.L. Bhyrappa said that school textbooks ‘should contain facts, and they should not be altered to suit a particular ideology’.
Speaking to mediapersons in Mysuru on June 2, Mr. Bhyrappa said that textbooks cannot be changed to prop up the ideology of any government.
Referring to treatment of Tipu Sultan or Aurangzeb in historical books, Mr. Bhyrappa claimed that their ‘misdeeds’ have been glossed over and attempts to correct them results in protests.
Hinting that the revision of textbooks was initiated by the Congress to pursue its views and ideology, Mr. Bhyrappa said he was the member of a committee constituted by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the late 1960s, and its chairman G. Parthasarthy hinted at removing ‘objectionable materials’ from history books as they were inimical to integration of the country.
When he objected, the committee was reconstituted within 15 days. He was dropped from the committee for airing his views. The NCERT book on social sciences was adopted by all the States run by the Congress, said Mr. Bhyrappa.
Any attempt to usher in change faces resistance and opposition to it takes various forms, said Mr. Bhyrappa. ‘’We saw this when a section of writers opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi began returning awards to create an impression that the country is becoming intolerant,’’ the writer added.
The current agitation against the revision of textbooks in Karnataka follows the same pattern, he said.
Referring to a section of students trying to lay siege to the house of Minister for Primary and Secondary Education B.C. Nagesh, Mr. Bhyrappa said students, on their own volition, will not resort to such moves unless they have some backing, hinting that the protest against revision of textbooks is political in nature.