Bengaluru, Sep 19 (IANS): Karnataka's Education Minister B.C. Nagesh on Monday announced that the state government is contemplating on commencing the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita in schools and colleges across the state from this academic year onwards.
Nagesh made the remarks while replying to a query during the Assembly session.
"We are contemplating to begin teaching the Bhagavad Gita from this academic year. It will be taught under a moral science subject. The discussion is going on. A committee will be formed and we will take a decision soon," he said.
The query was raised by BJP MLC M.K. Pranesh. He asked: "The government says there is no proposal to implement teachings of Bhagavad Gita to students in Karnataka. Is the government hesitant to teach Bhagavad Gita? Why has the interest shown by the government earlier while issuing statements evaporated?"
The issue is likely to create controversy with various minority groups and individuals opposing it when the announcement was made earlier by Nagesh had stated that as per the National Education Policy (NEP), on the lines of Gujarat state, the Bhagavad Gita will be introduced in Karnataka after consulting educational experts.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had said that it was his government's stand to include the Bhagavad Gita into the syllabus as a part of moral science subject.
Minister for Large and Medium Industries Murugesh Nirani has stated that Bhagavad Gita has human values and children need to learn about those values.
The government of Gujarat has taken a decision to add Bhagavad Gita in the syllabus and a decision should be taken in Karnataka also to introduce Bhagavad Gita to children, he had said.
However, senior Congress leader and former minister from Mysuru, Tanveer Sait stirred controversy over the weekend by stating that introducing the Bhagavad Gita in the syllabus "is more dangerous than Covid pandemic".
Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy questioned the state government on the proposal and added that teaching of the Bhagavad Gita won't fill empty stomachs.
"The state is facing thousands of problems and the teachings of Bhagavad Gita won't provide food for people. Emotional matters are gaining importance in the country. The innocents are being misled. There is an end to this trend and we will wait until then," he said.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah said: "We believe in Hindu religion and give equal respect to other religions. We do not have any objection to teaching Bhagavad Gita, Bible, Quran to children. But, children should be given quality education."