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Furore over the distribution of Gita in colleges

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 13, 2018, 1:53 am IST
Updated : Jul 13, 2018, 1:52 am IST

The Bhagavad Gita, also known as the Gita, is a Hindu scripture in verse in Sanskrit that is part of the epic Mahabharata.

Maharashtra Education minister Vinod Tawde
 Maharashtra Education minister Vinod Tawde

Nagpur: Opposition parties have slammed the BJP-led government over distribution of copies of the Bhagavad Gita in NAAC-ranking colleges in Mumbai and allege that it is part of their ‘Hindutva’ agenda.

Education minister Vinod Tawde, while supporting the decision, said, “This is not the government's initiative, but has been undertaken by the Bhaktivedant Trust. If someone requests the distribution of the Quran and Bible, we will allow that too.”

Meanwhile, Chatrabharati claimed that government has stopped the distribution of the Gita books after meeting the officers of the education department. The Bhagavad Gita, also known as the Gita, is a Hindu scripture in verse in Sanskrit that is part of the epic Mahabharata.

Joint director of education issued a direction on July 11 regarding the distribution of the Bhagavad Gita to NAAC-accredited colleges for students. The move has become controversial.

NCP and other parties objected to it. NCP state president Jayant Patil criticised the government's decision. He said that the government can't run colleges, universities and disburse scholarships in time. "We are not against the Gita. But now, these things are being done as a publicity stunt, Mr Patil said.

Ex-CM Prithiviraj Chavan slammed the move, saying: “This is shocking. How can the government promote this? Our country is secular and this is unconstitutional.”

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Waris Pathan criticised the government’s move, saying, “Let students learn science and technology. Don’t use religious things for political gain. It’s a wrong decision and government should withdraw it.”

State education minister Tawde said that the government has no role to play in this initiative. “Bhakti Vedant trust came forward for this and donated copies of the Gita for free for students, Mr Tawde said.

The minister asked, “Are there opponents to the recitation of the Gita and is it a bad thing to distribute it?

If someone comes forward for the distribution of the Quran or Bible, we would permit it.”

However, now there is a political ruckus over the distribution of copies of the sacred book. Chatrabharati, a student’s organisation objected to the move and met the joint director, who assured them of withdrawal of the decision.

Tags: bhagavad gita, vinod tawde