As the Gujarat government plans to introduce the Bhagwad Gita into the school curriculum, Karnataka’s primary and secondary education minister, BC Nagesh, said Friday that the state government will consult with educators before making an appeal to do so.
“In Gujarat, they have decided to introduce moral science in three to four stages. In the first stage, they decided to introduce the Bhagwad Gita. This is what I noticed today. We won’t get in touch until after we talk to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai about introducing “moral science,” Nagesh told reporters on Friday.
The minister claimed that cultural values among children had suffered, the minister said that many people have demanded that moral sciences be introduced.
According to him, there used to be a moral science class every week where contents related to Ramayana and Mahabharata were taught.
“We will be seeking the Chief Minister’s advice on the introduction of moral science in the coming days. If we decide to continue, we will discuss the content of the moral sciences and the duration of the lesson with the education experts,” said Nagesh.
Nagesh stressed that statesmen draw inspiration from the Bhagawad Gita, Ramayana and Mahabharata, including Mahatma Gandhi. Even Mahatma Gandhi praised the Hindu epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata – for his upbringing, which his mother always told him. Growing up, the play Raja Harishchandra had a big impact on his life, the minister explains.
He underlined the moral values in the Hindu religious scriptures and said that the teachings in these books were the reason behind building a well-developed society in ancient India, when there were no modern schools and universities.
It is our duty to introduce those things that have a positive effect on society. However, it is left to the educators to decide what should be introduced, Nagesh said.
“It is not that the Bhagwad Gita should not be taught to the children because SM Krishna told me when he was the Chief Minister that he read the Bhagwad Gita every night which was his strength,” the minister said. As for the content, he said it is left to the experts to decide.”
“Whatever the experts say about the introduction of the Bhagwad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharat or the stories of Jesus Christ and the good teachings in the Bible and the Quran can be preserved. What is time-tested will be taught in moral science,” the minister explained.
Congress president DK Shivakumar said there was no need to further glorify things already in the textbooks. “There is nothing wrong with learning about the religious practices of different religions. We will see what content they (BJP government) want to introduce in the education system. Textbooks have the contents of different religions. I don’t think it’s necessary to further glorify new things,” Shivakumar told reporters.
He underlined that the BJP did not introduce any new idea. “As Chief Minister Kengal, Hanumanthaiah had books distributed on the Bhagawad Gita for Rs two. These people (the BJP government in Karnataka) are not doing anything new. There is no need for them to take credit,” Shivakumar said.
Further, the president of Congress said he was completely against the new national education policy and said the policy was not necessary. “There is no need for the NEP in the state and the country. People are already learned and well informed. There are no circumstances to change the policy,” Shivakumar said.