Karnataka education minister BC Nagesh said on Tuesday that the chapters on Tipu Sultan will remain in school textbooks and only “inappropriate” parts will be removed. The minister’s comments come at a time when there is an intense debate in the southern state over the 18th-century ruler of Mysuru.
Among his biggest critics in Karnataka is Kodagu MLA Appachu Ranjan who alleged that Tipu Sultan killed many Coorg residents. Nagesh said there were two key demands, especially from Kodagu MLA Appachu Ranjan, who demanded that lessons on Tipu Sultan be removed from textbooks or at least that all aspects of his personality and rule be taught to students.
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The chapters on Tipu Sultan in the Karnataka school syllabus have long been controversial. In July 2020, the state government axed chapters at Tipu Sultan as part of its effort to cut 30 percent of the Class 7 curriculum due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the chapters on the 18th-century ruler were kept in classes 6 and 10.
Nagesh had previously said that “imagination-based” chapters on Tipu Sultan will be removed from the syllabus and his title of Tiger of Mysore will be kept only if there is evidence to match the claim.
The Karnataka government had formed a committee to examine the portrayal of Tipu Sultan in the school curriculum. A final decision on the committee’s recommendation is expected next week. The education minister said they had decided to remove the inappropriate parts of the school textbooks. His name as ‘Mysuru Huli’ (Mysore Tiger) also remains as it is.
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A committee, led by the writer Rohith Chakrathirtha, suggested modifications to the textbooks, especially those related to Tipu Sultan. The committee in charge of revising the social studies textbooks for classes 6 to 10 had recommended removing parts of the curriculum that glorified Tipu Sultan. It was also recommended to review the lessons on Babar and Tughlaq.