Published On:22 November 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Teaching of ‘Geeta Saar’ in Schools Opposed, Madhya Pradesh CM urged to keep off Religion from Education

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: A meeting of intellectuals and faith-based organizations has urged the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to keep off from imparting from religious education of one religion alone in government schools and government-aided schools in the state.

The meeting decided to meet the state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav and ask him to uphold the Indian constitution. It also decided to hold different types of protests in the state capital Bhopal and all over the state to register their ire against the government’s move.

“We will also talk to all political parties to join the efforts to safe guard the Indian Constitution from being diluted day by day”, the organizers of the meeting said.

The meeting was jointly organized by Rashtriya Secular Munch and Harmony Foundation to ponder and respond over the Chief Minister Chouhan’s announcement to include compulsorily “Geeta Saar” (summary of Hindu scripture Bhagwad Geeta) in schools syllabi in the state run and aided by the state government.

It may be pointed out here that “The Bhagwad Geeta” ("Song of God") is the essence of the Vedas and Upanishads, religious scriptures of Hindus.

The meeting unanimously agreed to the proposal that it must reject the proposal of the state Government out-rightly as it violates the Indian Constitution’s secular credentials wherein it prohibits to impart religious education in schools of any one religion alone.

The meeting was convened by Fr. Anand Muttungal, secretary of the Harmony Foundation, here on Saturday It was presided over by Mr. L. S. Herdenia, convenor of the Rashtriya Secular Munch.

The meeting responded strongly to the Chief Minister Mr. Chouhan’s recent reported statement, “Hindu religious scripture Bhagwad Geeta will be taught to all children in the schools, if anybody feels hurt let him be”. The Chief Minister made the announcement while addressing a function of RSS run school at Indore. Mr. Chouhan, however, was unfazed by the opposition had reportedly said nobody could find anything wrong with the teachings of the Geeta which is a sacred text of Hindus.

Mr. Herdenia said that Chief Minister must respect the Constitution which does not permit any religion to be taught in the Government schools and schools run with the aid from the government. The meeting collectively agreed to the proposal that we must reject the proposal of the Government.

Madhya Pradesh Muslim Educational Society chairman Ibrahim Qureshi said: “Teaching religion is the responsibility of the religious communities. Government should not step into the realm of religious education. Each religion should be taught by the teachers of each religion or no religious education should be imparted in the schools.”

Fr. Anand Muttungal, Catholic Church spokesperson, said: “Teaching only one religion can divide the society on religious grounds. So, either teach important teachings of all religions or keep away religion from education”.

Dr. Uday Jain, former Vice Chancellor Rewa University, stated that the Chief Minister Chouhan has no power to dictate what is to be taught in the schools. So, no religion should be brought to the educational curriculum, he added.

Gyani Dileep Singh said, “The language used by Chief Minister is very objectionable. India is a multi-religious state so all religions should have a place. Teaching only one religion will divide the children on religious grounds.”

Bahan B K Kiran of Brahma Kumari said that in place of religious education we need to teach spiritual values that can change human beings.

The other important persons who opposed the view of teaching religion in the schools included: Prof. Zameeruddin, Adv. Sajid Siddiqui, president of Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), MP unit, Anwar Safi, Krishn Chandra Mauli, Mukesh Varma, Deepak Butt, Dr. S M Hasan, Bhushan Battacharya, John Antony, Shailendar Shaili, Jitendra Tiwari, Raghuraj Singh, Palash Surjan, Masood Khan, Dr. Rahul Sharma etc.

Meanwhile, criticising the move, Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, (MPCC), Media Department Chairman Manak Agrawal said: “India is a secular country where no one can be allowed to talk like this.” The Congress was not opposed to the “Geeta Saar” as such but wanted that teachings from the Quran, the Bible and the Guru Granth Sahib should also be included in school courses.

Congress Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Singh said it was an attempt to saffronise the education system. “Schools are not meant for doing “havans” or “Geeta Paath” and we will oppose the move vociferously and also raise it in the State Assembly,” Singh said.

The CM’s announcements also did not go down well with the minorities in the State. Muslims and Christians also criticised the move and said that the move was not as per the secular character of the country.

Singh said the CM was in the habit of periodically making announcements. He said that sometime back Chouhan had announced with great fanfare that the name of Bhopal would be changed to Bhojpal. He said the Chief Minister believes only in making announcements and does not bother to look into their implementation.

He also said that Chouhan was doing all this to divert people’s attention from the real problem of bad roads, shortage of power, and plight of the farmers in the State.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on November 22, 2011. Filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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1 comments for "Teaching of ‘Geeta Saar’ in Schools Opposed, Madhya Pradesh CM urged to keep off Religion from Education"

  1. geetasaar website (geetasaar.com) is a really good one

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