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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

‘Teachings from other religions already in course’

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, August 06, 2013
First Published: 11:02 IST(6/8/2013) | Last Updated: 11:12 IST(6/8/2013)

Giving clarification on its decision to include Bhagavad Gita teachings in Urdu textbooks, the state government on Monday said apart from Gita, lessons from other religions are already part of the school syllabus.

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As per a state government release issued on Monday night, these include life sketch of Paighambar Mohammad Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev, Gautam Buddha, Mahavir Swami, Christ, Gharib Nawaz of Ajmer. Lessons, poems and information on gift of Christmas, incident of Karbala, Bibi Fatima’s life sketch, Holi, Eid, Deepawali, Rakhi, Id- uz- Zuha, Onam, Christmas, Dussehra, Guru Parv, Mahavir Jayanti, Buddha Jayanti, Lohri, festivals are already part of the syllabus in various classes.

Only two lessons from the Bhagavad Gita have been included in the Urdu text-books.

None of the lessons are of religious or communal in nature.

The release says the allegation that these lessons have been made compulsory due to vested interest doesn’t hold water as the classes in which these lessons have been included do not have provision to fail students.

These lessons will be regarded as optional.

The government had followed the same policy in case of Surya Namaskar.

“Keeping useful aspects of Gita’s teachings in view, it is wrong to see lessons included in school textbooks from religious or communal angle. They are basically moral teachings. The action has been ensured in keeping with this spirit,” says the release.

The release, responding to a petition filed by Catholic Bishop Council, states Madhya Pradesh high court has held that Gita is basically a book of Indian philosophy and not of Indian religion.

As per the release, Bhagavad Gita-based material’s inclusion in textbooks is nothing new. In 2011-12, Gita- based material has been included in textbooks for Class 1 to 12. These books are being taught not only in government schools, but also in government-aided Madrassas for last 2 years.

The lesson have not been included due to election or religious considerations, clarifies the government.


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