All government and government-aided school libraries in Karnataka have been directed to keep at least two copies of a book named 'Itta Guri, Ditta Hejje' which lists the achievements of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Department of Public Instruction had sent out circulars to the schools to procure the Kannada books for its libraries. The book, worth Rs 300 each, includes chapters on Siddaramaiah's 'healthy' administration and states why he's a simple and honest politician. It focuses on his philosophy and achievements, his society-oriented projects, and so on.
The book also includes an essay by scholar Sa Shi Marulaiah called 'As I have seen Siddaramaiah', and a chapter that compares the CM with former CM D Devaraj Urs.
While the education department has maintained that the book is merely a reference material, many fear that is a political infringement on students' curriculum.
Defending the CM, Karnataka Education Minister Tanveer Seth said the book is not mandatory for the students. "It's a separate book on the vision of the CM and it is not a chapter in the book. It is not mandatory in the syllabus," Seth said adding that books have been printed and 80% have even been distributed.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit out at the CM questioning how will such books help increase students' knowledge. "Who is benefiting from this book, the publisher or the CM? There are many other books that needs to be in the school library rather than such a personality book. The circular should be taken back and the book be withdrawn. Action should be taken against those responsible for this decision. We will take this matter up in the Assembly and will ensure this book is withdrawn," BJP spokesperson S Prakash said.