The education landscape of Karnataka is witnessing a controversial transformation as the state government undertakes a revision of school textbooks. Central to this revision is the depiction of Sanatana Dharma, an ancient term referring to a way of life or a ‘code of ethics’ that has been integral to Indian traditions and Hindu philosophy. This blog post delves into the recent changes, the motivations behind them, and the heated debates they have sparked amongst political circles, particularly, the staunch opposition from the BJP.


Understanding the Textbook Revision Controversy


In an attempt to provide what it claims to be an ‘appropriate description’ of Sanatana Dharma, the Karnataka government has embarked on a project to revise the state’s school textbooks. This decision has stirred a hornet’s nest among various stakeholders who question the need, accuracy, and potential ideological slant of the revised contents. Critics argue that such changes may alter the secular fabric of education, whereas proponents insist on an accurate portrayal of Indian traditions and philosophies.


Revising Sanatana Dharma: Content and Context


The revision seeks to modify how Sanatana Dharma is represented, ensuring that its description aligns with traditional understandings and teachings. The government’s initiative is being scrutinized for how it portrays the historical and cultural significance of Sanatana Dharma. Educationalists and scholars have weighed in, debating over whether the revisions amount to rectification or revisionism.


BJP’s Standpoint on the Revision


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a major political entity with roots deeply embedded in Hindu nationalism, has been vociferous in opposing the Karnataka state government’s strategy to revise the textbooks. Although typically seen as a proponent of Hindu-centric ideologies, the BJP is contending that the described changes may not provide a balanced view and could skew young minds with partisan teachings.


Implications for Secular Education


The convergence of politics and education raises significant concerns about maintaining a secular and unbiased education system. With the inclusion or exclusion of certain details about Sanatana Dharma, the government’s move is being closely watched by educators, parents, and the civil society at large. The potential impact on the impressionable minds of students is a sticking point in this debate, as it questions the role of education in shaping societal ethos and values.


Community Reactions and Future Prospects


The reactions to the textbook revisions have been varied. While some community sectors laud the attempt to ‘correct’ historical narratives, others believe it crosses the delicate line of secular education. The discord extends to the question of who holds the authority to narrate India’s past, as well as how to address the religious diversity that marks the nation’s identity. As the controversy unfolds, the future course of these revisions will be crucial in determining the direction of Karnataka’s educational policies.




As Karnataka revises its school textbooks, the debate over the appropriate depiction of Sanatana Dharma branches out into broader questions about educational objectivity and integrity. The BJP’s opposition to the revision brings political undercurrents to the forefront, highlighting the intricate dance between ideology and education. Only time will tell if the revised textbooks will weather the storm of scrutiny and emerge as instruments of unbiased learning or if they will be seen as catalysts for ideological indoctrination.


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