Karnataka schools to teach Bhagavad Gita from December – Matters India

By Thomas Scaria
Mangaluru, Sept 20,2022:
The Karnataka government has announced that it would include teachings of the Bhagavad Gita as part of moral education in schools from December this year.
B C Nagesh, the state’s primary and secondary education minister, said the government has amended its earlier proposal to introduce Gita as a separate subject in schools and decided to teach it as part of moral education.
However, some section of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has objected to introducing the Hindu scripture only as part of moral education and not as a separate topic in syllabus.
However, Nagesh said the government has already appointed an expert panel to give their recommendations and suggestions after consulting with various stakeholders.
The minister also hinted that some historical mistakes will be corrected in the textbooks like the lesson on Baba Dudangiri, a holy place of Muslims in Chikmagaluru to ‘Inam Dattatreya Peeta,’ a Hindu pilgrim center in the same hills. The text books will have more information on some local kings and their kingdoms too, he added.
Last year, several school days were disrupted on account of the hijab row by Muslim girls and attacks on some Christian schools for propagating Christian principles in schools.
Father Faustine Lobo, the spokesperson of the Catholic Church in Karnataka, said he welcomes the government decision to teach Bhagavad Gita in schools as part of moral education, but it should not be aimed at promoting a single culture.
All regions teach moral principles and India being a multi-cultural country, it is not right to look at morality from only one angle, he pointed out.
“The government should be committed to include moral values from other religions too, if they are really concerned about a moral society based on ethical values and pluralism,” the Catholic priest asserted.
Father Lobo also expressed concern about changing or rewriting history in the name of promoting a single culture too. “Changing names of the roads, circles, and historical facts are only signs of some sickness and instead, the government should concentrate on more creative activities to produce new history,” he added.
He referred to the change of name of Lady Hill Circle in Mangalore city to Narayaguru Circle recently, and said such acts challenge historical facts.
“The name of the Ladyhill Circle derived from the old Ladyhill school there, managed by the Apostolic Carmel Sisters,” explained the priest, adding that a change of name erases history behind it.
Father Lobo’s comment appreciated.
In India we live in a multi-religious context. Hence, there is nothing wrong for the students to learn “human values” from Scriptures of other religions.
Matters India strives to be a platform to tell stories of church and society for Indians to think and act beyond their regional, linguistic, ritual, and caste differences and to enable them to see the goodness in others irrespective of their faiths.
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