Karnataka’s Education Minister BC Nagesh said on Tuesday that chapters on Tipu Sultan will remain in textbooks and only “inappropriate” parts will be removed. The minister’s comments come at a time when a furious debate is raging in the southern state over the 18th-century ruler of Mysuru.
One of his biggest critics in Karnataka is Kodagu MLA Appachu Ranjan, who claimed that Tipu Sultan killed many residents of Coorg. Nagesh said there were two main demands, most notably from Kodagu MLA Appachu Ranjan, who demanded that the lessons about Tipu Sultan be removed from textbooks or at least that students should learn all sides of his personality and rule.
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Chapters about Tipu Sultan in Karnataka’s school syllabus have long remained controversial. In July 2020, the state government had dropped chapters on Tipu Sultan as part of its effort to cut 30 percent of class 7 syllabus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, chapters on the 18th-century ruler were preserved in grades 6 and 10.
Nagesh had previously said that chapters “based on imagination” about Tipu Sultan will be removed from the syllabus and that his Tiger of Mysore title will only be kept if there is evidence to match the claim.
The government of Karnataka had formed a committee to investigate Tipu Sultan’s representation in the school curriculum. The final decision on the committee’s recommendation is expected to be taken next week. The education minister said they have decided to remove the inappropriate parts from textbooks. His name as ‘Mysuru Huli’ (Tiger of Mysore) also remains as it is.
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A committee, headed by writer Rohith Chakrathirtha, had proposed changes to textbooks, especially regarding Tipu Sultan. The committee in charge of revising classes 6 to 10 social science textbooks had recommended removing parts of the syllabus glorifying Tipu Sultan. Lessons on Babar and Tughlaq were also recommended for review.
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