A host of writers have resigned from State government committees and bodies in protest against the recent controversy over textbook revision, lack of action against the textbook review committee chairperson Rohith Chakrathirtha, who allegedly defamed Kuvempu.
Writers S.G. Siddaramaiah, who was president of Rashtrakavi Dr. G.S. Shivarudrappa Pratishthana; H.S. Raghavendra Rao, Nataraja Budalu, and Chandrashekhar Nangli wrote to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai resigning from their posts on Monday. “The recent unconstitutional attack and oppression in education, cultural, and political spheres of the State has left us concerned. The government’s silence and lack of action on those who have been openly inciting communal hatred undermining the State and federal structure has left us anxious and scared,” the letter said, citing the reason for their resignation.
Senior writer and scholar Hampa Nagarajaiah also resigned as president of Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Pratishthana, citing lack of action against persons who have made defamatory statements against Kuvempu and the State anthem. “Since the government has not only not taken any action against people who have defamed Kuvempu and the anthem, but since they have been made members of the official committee, it sends a wrong signal to people,” he said in the letter to the Chief Minister. Prof. Siddaramaiah has also written to Minister for Primary and Secondary Education B.C. Nagesh and withdrawn permission for the inclusion of his poem “Manegelasada Hudugi” in class IX second language Kannada textbook.
Noted educationist V.P Niranjanaradhya has turned down an invite from the State government to honour him for his work on National Education Policy-2020. “The State government has resorted to communalise and saffronise education and in this process, no curriculum framework, constitutional values and education policy have been followed. Since this exercise and the programme to which I am invited both are led by the Education Minister, I stand by the constitutional values and boycott it,” he wrote in response to the invite.
Meanwhile, several progressive writers and advocates held a protest in the city on Monday. Prominent advocates A.P. Ranganath, C.H. Hanumantharaya, and others participated in the protest and demanded that the Mr. Chakrathirtha-led textbook review committee be scrapped and textbooks finalised by Baraguru Ramachandrappa committee be restored. They also demanded that Mr. Chakrathirtha be booked and arrested for defaming Kuvempu and the State anthem. Vatal Nagaraj took out a procession from Mysore Bank Circle with a large portrait of Kuvempu in a chariot playing the State anthem, demanding action against Mr. Chakrathirtha.
Mahesh Joshi, president, Kannada Sahitya Parishat, also demanded action against those who have defamed Kuvempu and the anthem.
Protests set to intensify
Protests against the textbook revision committee and its chairman Rohith Chakrathirtha are all set to only intensify. A coalition of progressive students organisations will hold a protest rally at Freedom Park on Tuesday demanding the annulment of the textbook review committee led by Rohith Chakrathirtha and the resignation of Minister B.C. Nagesh. Karnataka Rakshana Vedike has also organised a protest rally on Tuesday demanding that the government rejects all revision carried out by Mr. Chakrathirtha-led committee and that he must be booked and arrested for defaming the State anthem.