The BJP government in Haryana has begun the process of introducing the Bhagavad Gita into the state education board curriculum and will start teaching the scripture in schools from the next academic session.
On the directions of state education minister Ram Bilas Sharma, the school education department has written to the State Council of Education, Research and Training (SCERT) for an action plan. The SCERT, an advisory body on education in the state, finalises the contents of the state school textbooks.
“It is up to the SCERT to finalise the text format of the Gita and decide the classes to which it would be taught,” additional chief secretary (school education) TC Gupta, told HT. He said that the minister had also asked the sports department to teach yoga in schools, for which permission was not required from SCERT. “We will try to start teaching the Gita and yoga from April,” Gupta said.
Sharma has oft-times said that the state government had decided to include Gita into the syllabus of schools, the latest being on Republic Day (January 26, 2015) function at Gurgaon. The move has also evoked mixed reactions from different political parties and social groups. While critics are saying that BJP has attempted to saffronise education, the BJP government justifies the same saying that the Gita is not a religious book but one which propounds a righteous way of life.
Meanwhile, the state government is also planning to constitute a consultative committee under RSS-associated academician Dinanath Batra to guide the state on school education and curriculum.