Two ‘textbook’ arguments over Tipu Sultan’s legacy


Bengaluru, First Published Mar 31, 2022, 5:52 PM IST

The Karnataka government’s school textbook review committee’s recommendations seeking alteration to textbooks especially related to Tipu Sultan, have sparked off a political war of sorts. Even as the Opposition Congress has termed the recommendations as an attempt to ‘saffronize’ education, committee chairman Rohit Chakrathirtha has come forward and clarified that the chapter on Tipu Sultan would continue to be part of the state syllabus.

‘Claims have been written for years without evidence’

Talking to Asianet Newsable, Chakrathirtha said, “We have not removed Tipu. We have retained the story of Tipu. His topic comes during the battle of Mysuru. What is required for that particular chapter is retained, and whatever is not related has been removed. So Tipu will remain in history.”

With regard to the controversy over the removal of the title of ‘Tiger Of Mysuru’ for Tipu, Chakrathirtha said he had only mentioned in some of his speeches that there was no evidence to back the claims. However, he said, this has not been recommended in his report.

Also Read: He is Mysuru’s ‘Rat’, not ‘Tiger’: Karnataka BJP MLA’s rant on Tipu Sultan

“I have not said that ‘Tipu, The Tiger of Mysuru’ is removed. Such types of claims have been written for years without evidence.” he said, adding, “Not just on Tipu, the report on Vedic chapter was also written without evidence. Take examples like how the society was divided, how Varna Ashrama played a role and how a community was discriminating against another community. Some historians had also written that people were offering clarified butter to prayer rituals when many people died due to hunger and poverty. There is no evidence for such things, and some things have been removed.” 

The review panel head said now that the textbooks with the changes suggested to the government will be rolled out from the next academic year.

‘Tipu Sultan was a great nationalist’

However, there are many who still believe that the report is completely biased and allege that the government has hired a right-wing person to ‘alter’ history.

Prof BP Mahesh Chandra Guru, University of Mysore, said: “The recent decision to revise the textbook on Tipu Sultan is absolutely biased, right-wing politics-oriented and a disgrace to historical truth about Tipu Sultan who was a great nationalist and martyr. Historians in India and abroad have paid rich tribute to the monumental contributions of Tipu Sultan in their works.” 

Prof BP Mahesh Chandra Guru further said, “Tipu laid down his life for the sovereignty of India. He was a true secularist and a great champion of nationalism. Tipu shines in the history of India as an indomitable nationalist and martyr. He was the solitary figure of the 18th century who resisted colonialism to the best of his ability.”

Terming Tipu as someone who strongly advocated that the value of life depended not on wealth and power but on its mission, the academician said, “Tipu built a true welfare state, waged consistent wars against colonialism, sacrificed his life for nationalism and wrote a historical foreword to national independence with utmost courage and conviction.”

Last Updated Mar 31, 2022, 5:53 PM IST

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