Tipu Sultan's history lessons cannot be deleted, says the president of the textbook committee

BENGALURU: Just 24 hours after Prime Minister BS Yediyurappa said the government will eliminate lessons in school textbooks that glorify the 18th-century Mysuru ruler. Tipu Sultan , the textbook committee, which was responsible for preparing a report on the proposal, said categorically that the lessons cannot be deleted.

I still haven't seen the letter that Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan had sent to the government and that it was sent to the committee, said Baragur Ramachandrappa, head of the textbook committee. But I can say in my personal capacity that Tipu cannot be erased from history textbooks .

The litterateur, who was appointed chairman of the textbook committee by the government of Congress in 2017, said that all the controversy surrounding Tipu in the textbooks is unjustified.

“The textbooks provided to students between classes I through X are supposed to be informative only. There may be many opinions for and against Tipu. But this should be reserved for students when they reach the PUC level and above, ”said Ramachandrappa.

Ranjan, who accumulated the controversy, said he is not against Tipu in the textbooks, but only against the lessons that glorify him as a freedom fighter. Tipu ruled between 1750 and 1799, Ranjan said. “Historical records show our first struggle for freedom in 1857 with the riot of the cipayos. How can Tipu be a freedom fighter? ”Rajan asked.

The legislator said that if the lessons cannot be deleted, at least a couple of lines on the negative side of the rule should be incorporated into the school lessons.

However, Ramachandrappa said that nowhere is it mentioned in the textbook that Tipu was a freedom fighter.

“As far as I recall, our history textbooks do not refer to Tipu Sultan as a freedom fighter. Perhaps, it may have highlighted only his positive side and called him a patriot but never a freedom fighter. Those who claim otherwise must read the textbook carefully,” said Ramachandrappa.

Kannada's historian and researcher, M. Chidananda Murthy, sided with Ranajn, saying that if Tipu doesn't stand out as a tyrant in textbooks, then it was better not to talk to him and not praise the former ruler.

“We do not want him to be erased completely from the annals of history ,” Murthy said. “But then, his tyrannical reign, which saw forcible conversions and murders should be highlighted. These are substantiated by letters to his chieftains where he orders the murder of Hindus. If we cannot portray his negative ways, we should desist from highlighting his positive side.”

Accepting that Tipu cannot be erased from textbooks, BJP MLC Arun Shahpur said: “Tipu was not a freedom fighter. He collaborated with the Portuguese and the French to save his own kingdom. He fought with the British not for the country, but to save his empire. If the British had not become eventual colonizers of India, Tipu would have been a vassal for the French or the Portuguese. ”

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