Friday, 22 July 2011

BJP Imposing Hindu Ideology on Muslims, Christians in Indian Schools

Bangalore A four-year-old effort to teach Bhagavad Gita to students in primary and higher secondary schools in Karnataka has courted controversy on its final lap with several groups opposing a January 2011 order of the BJP government launching the programme in Kolar district. And the matter has been compounded by a remark by Education Minister Vishveshwar Kaggeri that people must “leave the country, if they do not respect the Bhagavad Gita”.
Kaggeri made the remarks on July 14 at a meeting in Kolar where the programme has reached after covering 26 districts in the state. Kaggeri has said the programme is not compulsory for all students, as it is in Madhya Pradesh. “Our circular only says that the programme is good and schools can cooperate. We are not funding it in any way,’’ he said.
Started as a private initiative of the Swarnavalli Mutt in 2007 the ‘teach Bhagavad Gita programme’ got regularised following endorsement by the state government.
While the Students Federation of India (SFI) launched an agitation this month against the programme for school students, the state minorities association has approached the High Court over the Kolar district order.
The January order of the Deputy Director Public Instruction (DDPI), Kolar, permitting the conduct of classes on Bhagavad Gita for school students has been challenged before the Karnataka High Court by the State Minorities Educational Institutions Managements Federation. The DDPI has granted permission to train teachers to conduct Bhagavad Gita classes which goes against the functioning of minority institutions, the federation has said.
“We are a secular country. How can the text of one religious group be taught in a school?” state SFI president H R Naveen Kumar said during a protest.
The Congress has accused the BJP of imposing saffron ideology on students.
“There needs to be a holistic approach where all religious texts are given equal importance. Something like a moral science class. Our advice to the BJP is don’t spoil the state, don’t saffronize,’’ state Congress leader G Parameshwara said.

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