Tipu in textbooks: Report submission delayed

Karnataka Textbook Society postpones meeting of committee

Subject experts in the committee set up to decide if lessons on 18th Century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan should be dropped or modified in school textbooks are said to be firm in their view that they must be retained. On the contrary, the mood of the political dispensation seems to be delaying the submission of the report.

The Karnataka Textbook Society (KTBS) postponed a meeting of the committee to submit the report that was scheduled on Friday. On Thursday, officials of KTBS told members that they would be intimated about the meeting later.

The controversy over lessons on Tipu has been brewing ever since Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan wrote to the Department of Primary and Secondary Education seeking removal of the lessons, terming Tipu a “fanatic”. A committee was set up to examine this demand.

A source in the department said they were “in a fix” as they learnt that the draft report had stated that the lessons be retained and subject experts are unlikely to bend on the issue.

The draft report, which was accessed by The Hindu, said “Not a single word in the existing textbooks should be changed”.

“The subject experts have taken a firm stand and are not willing to change a single word in the textbooks. But people in the government, including Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, have already hinted that the lessons will have to be dropped,” the source added. Due to this controversy, the department is likely to avoid making a decision on the issue and simply forward the report submitted by the committee and leave it to the discretion of the government.

One of the members of the special committee, in fact, urged the department to call a meeting with the experts who were involved in framing the textbooks.

Lessons on Tipu are currently in textbooks of classes six, seven and 10. The first meeting of the committee on the issue was held on November 7.

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