Under pressure from minority communities and the Opposition, the state government on Tuesday repealed its notification dated August 1, 2013 regarding inclusion of lessons from the Bhagavad Gita in Urdu textbooks of Class 1 and 2.
The government feared the decision would have a negative impact on the BJP’s poll prospects in the election year.
HT was the first to report the matter on Sunday after which the minority communities and the Opposition attacked the government and blamed it for making attempts to saffronise education.
Under attack from several quarters, the state government made a last- ditch attempt to justify its decision on Monday.
What compelled the government to retract its decision was the refusal of Muslim community representatives to attend the Roza Iftar party organised at the CM House on Tuesday evening.
The representatives who included Shahar Qazis from other cities including Indore, Jabalpur, Ratlam etc were peeved at the notification and turned down the invitation.
The participation of Shahar Qazi of Bhopal Mushtaq Nadvi in the Iftar party would have tilted the slides in the government’s favour. Hence, the state government tried to placate Nadvi throughout Tuesday morning to make him change his mind.
In the afternoon, Nadvi and Mufti of Bhopal Syed Babar Hasan met the CM at the request of MP Minority Commission chairman Anwar Mohd Khan.
During the interaction they also raised other issues affecting the community.
Later, in a hurriedly- called media briefing at Vallabh Bhavan, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “The state government has decided on withdrawal of chapters on the Bhagavad Gita tenets from special English (Class 1-2) and general Hindi textbooks (Class 3-8) as well. But the chapters will be retained in Hindi textbooks."