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Karnataka CM revives ‘Gita lessons in school’ row
Sakàl Times | Tuesday, 10 January 2012 AT 07:46 PM IST
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BENGALURU: Minority schools in Karnataka have said a big no to Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda's proposal to introduce Bhagavad Gita in schools even as opposition Janata Dal Secular and the Congress slammed the Chief Minister for reviving the controversy.


Besides minority schools, the JDS and Congress leaders opposed the move and said they would not allow saffronization of education.


Minority educational institutions had last year  gone to the court against the move which forced the government to reconsider the proposal.


But Gowda said his government would hold talks with all sections of society to introduce Gita in school syllabus.  "Though many people had raised their voice against the Abhiyan, the overwhelming response shows that the Bhagavad Gita stands as a symbol of communal harmony, and also the most acceptable text," said Gowda.


Surprisingly, Congress leader and Union Minister K Muniyappa, who was present at the function, agreed, saying the introduction of the Hindu scripture would strengthen the students' mindset. However, the Congress distanced itself from Muniyappa, saying there was no dispute about Gita's spiritual context but it should not be forced on schools.

Senior Congress leader V S Ugrappa said the move was nothing short of saffronisation of education.


"Will the government allow the Bible or the Quran to be made compulsory in schools?" he asked.


The High Court, responding to a petition by minority educational institutions, had asked the government not to make teaching of Bhagvad Gita compulsory in schools. The minority institutions said minority rights would be violated if government forced the Gita on them. In fact, Jnanpith award winner Girish Karnad has termed the government support to teach Gita in schools as nothing short of "cultural terrorism".


Minister Kageri Hegde hadfuelled the row by saying those who are against teaching of the Gita should leave the country.


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