Faced with criticism from all quarters, Karnataka restored a lesson on controversial Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan in the history textbook for class 7 students, three days after dropping it ostensibly to reduce the syllabus, an official said on Thursday.
"As per instructions given by Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, the chapter on Tipu for class 7 students in the e-version of the history textbook has been uploaded on the Department of State Education Research and Training (DSERT) website for online classes and teaching, as schools are shut due to Covid-19 scare," Karnataka Textbook Society managing director Madde Gowda told IANS here.
The chapter on 'Tipu of Mysore' in the syllabus for class 6 and class 10 has also been retained.
The eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali, Tipu (1750-1799) was the king of then Mysore region in southern India and died in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war in 1799 at Srirangapatna, about 20 kms from Mysore after a series of victories in battles against the British rulers.
"Lessons on the Indian Constitution, Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed have also been restored as directed by the minister," Gowda admitted.
The syllabus in the textbooks was trimmed to adjust for the academic year which has been reduced by a couple of months due to the pandemic.
Besides criticism from opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), education experts, teachers and students protested against dropping the lesson on the Mysore ruler.
"The minister has set up a committee to study the issue with education and history experts and recommend steps to reduce the syllabus for this year's students, as schools are unlikely to reopen till August 31," said Gowda.
An expert committee headed by noted writer Baraguru Ramachandrappa advised the state government in November 2019 against dropping content on Tipu from history textbooks as the ruler was a historic personality.
Chapter 5 on Tipu is part of the history portion on the 'Wodeyars of Mysuru'. In chapter 4 for class 10 students, Tipu is mentioned along with Halagali Bedas, Kittur Rani Chenamma and Sangoli Rayanna as those who opposed and fought the British in the 18th century.
"The syllabus for classes 1-10 was reduced to 120 days from 240 days for the academic year, as 60 days (June and July) have already gone without schools reopening due to the Covid spread," said Gowda.
The minister assured the opposition parties and critics of not removing any content without the consent of the stakeholders.
"The officials have been directed to make teaching modules suitable for mass media or digital teaching," Kumar said.