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Changes in textbook defended

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, OCT. 11. The Director of Textbooks in the Department of State Education Research and Training (DSERT) today defended the changes in the social science textbook prescribed for tenth standard against the criticism from the chairman of the textbook committee and noted historian, Suryanath U. Kamath.

The Director, Jagannatha Rao, joined issue with Dr. Kamath and said changes were effected following criticism from historians, members of the minority communities and the public at large for the several inaccuracies in the book.

Dr. Kamath had, at a press conference on Saturday, blamed the officials of the DSERT for errors in the textbook.

In a press statement issued in response to the statements made by Dr. Kamath, the DSERT said: "The leaders of the minority communities protested against the unnecessary depiction of communally sensitive issues directly affecting their faiths in the original draft of the textbook."

Dr. Kamath had mentioned that Aurobindo Ghosh's name was omitted. Actually his name appeared on page 40 of the textbook. The draft submitted by Dr. Kamath also did not contain the photographs of Veer Savarkar, Chandrashekar Azad and Bhagat Singh, the Director said.

Some questions

In the original draft, it was stated that after the Second World War, Pakistan became free. Was there a country by the name Pakistan before the Second World War? the Director asked. Regarding one of the causes for the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the draft stated: "Spain built an empire and colonies in South America. But when the U.S. became free, it helped many American nations to secure freedom." Was that a cause for the First World War? the Director asked.

They were some of the reasons for handing over of the textbook for rewriting by a committee headed by the noted historian, Shadakshari Shettar, former Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research.

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