The Karnataka Textbook Society has convened a meeting on November 7 for discussing dropping Tipu Sultan from school textbooks in the state.
The meeting comes in the wake of the direction issued by the Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar for deciding on the issue. Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan had submitted a representation to the government seeking to remove lessons on Tipu from school textbooks. Class 10 students in the state study lessons about Tipu.
“We have invited MLA Appachu Ranjan and the experts who were involved in drafting history textbook. We will submit the report to the primary and secondary education minister after hearing both experts and MLA,” said a senior official of Karnataka Textbook Society. According to sources, the meeting will be held at 12 noon at Vidhana Soudha.
Appachu Ranjan said that he had received a communication from the Society to attend the meeting on November 7. “I will convey everything along with documents and demand for removal of contents related to Tipu Sultan from the textbooks.”
However, the experts who were involved in the formation of contents for History textbooks feel that no content from the history textbook can be changed or dropped without new evidence.
Prof Ashwathnarayana, History Professor of University of Mysore who headed the committee which drafted Social Science textbook said, “History is a dialogue based on evidences. But we should have authentic documents to change or rewrite anything in history This applies to even Tippu and Hyder Ali.”
He said that he has not yet received any communication about November 7th meeting. “Being a peoples representative, the MLA has all right to ask and question what we have written. Being historian and teacher of the history, even I am open for changes, but only with reliable new documents about Tipu,” he added.
Prof Ashok V Shettar, Associate Professor, Department of History and Archaeology, Karnataka University, Dharwad, who was one of the scrutinisers of revised textbooks felt that dropping the contents related to Tipu Sultan from textbooks for a political reason was wrong.
“These are all academic matters and Tipu was always a villain for the British. Removing contents about him from textbooks just for political reason is not acceptable,” he said.