An editorial in Indian Express and my comments sent to them is reproduced below.
May be some of you would like to know.
Dr. K. Jamanadas
Thursday, July 21, 2011
------------ original editorial of INDIAN EXPRESS -----------------
Thu, 21 Jul 2011
A lesson in values
The Indian Express Tags : editorial, indian express Posted: Thu Jul 21 2011, 00:15 hrs
The Bhagavad Gita is like the sun. I think that it is the duty of every Indian to respect the Bhagavad Gita like they respect other elements surrounding them. I strongly feel that if someone does not respect it, they have no place in India. They should leave the country and settle abroad."
That was the line of argument offered by Karnataka's minister for primary and secondary education, Vishveshwar Hegde Kaggeri, after his controversial suggestion, that the Gita be taught for an hour every day to the state's schoolchildren, was resisted. Kaggeri's cultural chauvinism has caused a major furore, with the opposition and representatives of minority groups demanding his dismissal.
Apart from ignoring the constitutional injunction against introducing religious material in public schools, Kaggeri has displayed the worst instincts and rhetoric of the right, publicly stating that those who disregard a certain Hindu religious text do not belong in India. In fact, instances like this, of people playing politics with culture and wielding them in ideological battle are the very reason these texts are scrupulously kept out of the curriculum. Some might argue that important texts, from across religions, should not be disqualified knowledge, that they can connect us better to our cultural history and provide an "equipment for living", in Kenneth Burke's memorable phrase. However, it is the politics represented by people like Kaggeri that make that project impossible, and remind us how important it is that our state schools remain faith-neutral. The Karnataka government has said that it did not sponsor the Gita-learning programme, and merely asked schools to cooperate with it — arguing, as the MP government recently did when it was hauled up for introducing Gita lessons, that these lessons were not about religion, but values. However, that explanation will not wash — public schools are the crucibles of secular citizenship, and should stay aloof from any religious/ spiritual mission.
Kaggeri's words are a reminder of the still-real danger of those who would shape education to their own ends, and they undermine one of India's founding values. If anyone has a problem fitting into this plural and secular nation, it is people like him.
-------------- end of editorial --------------
This refers to your editorial July 21, 2011, "A lesson in Values"
I think Gita must be taught to all Indian students, specially those who call themselves as Hindus. Let them know that it was Gita, which strengthened Chaturvarnya, the base of Caste system, while it was about to disappear after revolution by the Buddha. Let the students – the future citizens of India – understand the ill effects of caste system on Indian history in making it a slave country for centuries. Let them understand that Gita is mini Manu Smriti. Let there be general debate in the country, so that the OBCs know what Gita says about them, the Shudras. That might prevent their support to those who like to change the Indian Constitution.
Dr. K. Jamanadas, 'Shalimar', Main Road, Chandrapur- 442 402
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