Karnataka govt asks textbook review panel to subdue glorification of Tipu Sultan in syllabus

29 March, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

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The Karnataka government’s school textbook review committee has advised that the “glorified information” on Tipu Sultan be toned down. Controversy has also developed over the topi...

The Karnataka government’s school textbook review committee has advised that the “glorified information” on Tipu Sultan be toned down. Controversy has also developed over the topic, although the state government has stated that Tipu Sultan chapters will stay, but inflated sections about him will be removed. In response, the Congress Party accused the government of targeting Tipu Sultan because he is a minority.

According to reports, the school textbook review committee, led by Rohith Chakra, has also submitted a report to the government on the subject.

“We have advised our pupils to adopt a neutral tone while teaching history, omitting undue glorification, factual inaccuracies, and deviations.” It is true not only in the case of Tipu, but also in the case of other historical events and people. Tipu, for example, is known as Mysuru Huli (Mysuru Tiger). “But no one knows who gave him this title or in what context,” Chakraatirtha told the Times of India.

About March 25, 2022, a move to change the chapter on Muslim monarch Tipu Sultan in Karnataka textbooks has sparked outrage. BC Nagesh, Karnataka’s primary and secondary education minister, said on Friday that the committee’s report recommended changes to the state’s textbooks, particularly with references to Tipu Sultan.

According to an official familiar with the situation, the investigation has advised that passages that “glorify” Tipu Sultan be erased. “The committee has recommended modifications to some imbalances in the syllabus while keeping the chapters neutral,” the official continued.

The decision comes as the administration is already under fire over the hijab controversy and a ban on Muslim vendors in Hindu temples. Previously, in July 2020, the government removed a chapter about Tipu Sultan from the Class 7 curriculum.

Over the last decade, the Tipu Sultan dispute and a political effort to remove him from textbooks have erupted in Karnataka. The controversy stems from Tipu Sultan’s campaign against the Kodava group, which included charges of murder and forced conversions. The Kodavas are an ethnically and linguistically diverse tribe that consider themselves to be the original residents of Kodagu. The memories of their persecution under Tipu Sultan serves as a reminder of their loss of dignity as a martial race.

While the political campaign continues to take fresh twists and turns, the scientific community believes that politicising Tipu Sultan will obliterate a golden age of India’s scientific achievements.

According to BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, history textbooks should not include teachings on “bigot” kings. “Those who have been overly praised – Tipu, Babur, Akbar, Aurangzeb, and other prejudiced monarchs should be abolished,” said Yatnal, the MLA for Bijapur City. “We studied about Akbar the Great, but not about Hindu conversion and tyranny.” Similarly, Tipu killed one lakh Hindus in Kodagu yet was celebrated as a freedom fighter. It was immoral to glorify some kings for the purpose of appeasement by falsifying history,” he remarked.