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Karnataka drops content ‘hurting Brahmin sentiment’ from school textbooks

The state government also directed the Karnataka Text Book Society to form an expert committee and analyse social science and language books from Classes 1 through 10.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru | Updated: December 19, 2020 9:16:15 am
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A couple of days after sections of the Brahmin community in Karnataka objected to certain passages in school textbooks for “hurting religious sentiments”, the state government on Thursday ordered omission of the same. Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar wrote to the Commissioner for Public Instruction (CPI) to drop the portions from the Class 6 Social Science textbook.

“The paragraphs that appear on pages 82 and 83 under the title ‘Emergence of New Religions’ are irrelevant and not suitable for such a young age. The CPI should take measures to ensure that these are dropped from the syllabus with immediate effect,” his order read.

A delegation from the Karnataka State Brahmin Development Board had on Tuesday raised the issue with authorities. They took offence to passages in the textbook that stated food scarcity was caused in the Vedic period due to sacrifices of agricultural animals and offerings of milk and ghee to the fire god during “havans” done by Brahmins.

Confirming this, Kumar said, “Mantralaya Raghavendra Swamiji had spoken to me over a telephone call expressing that such passages hurt the sentiments of the Brahmin community… No such revisions to textbooks have been made since our government was formed.”

Kumar also directed the Karnataka Text Book Society to form an expert committee and analyse social science and language books from Classes 1 through 10. “The committee, which includes teachers and subject-matter experts, should review all textbooks pertaining to social sciences and languages till Class 10 for such complex content, and a report should be submitted in 15 days,” he said.

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