According to the government, state governments can allow the Bhagavad Gita to be taught in schools if they wish. In response to a question in the Lower House, Union Minister for Education Annapurna Devi said that state governments could also make provisions for the teaching of the Bhojpuri language in schools if they wish. According to the new education policy, children are now required to learn regional languages.
‘Education is listed in the concurrent list of (the Constitution). States are free to add Bhagavad Gita to the curriculum. Under the CBSE (central board of secondary education) pattern, the Bhagavad Gita is already taught in classes. States are welcome to include Bhagavad Gita,’ the minister told the House during Question Hour. Her response was to the question posed by BJP MP Gopal Shetty of North Mumbai.
The BJP member wanted to know if the government is considering implementing the Bhagavad Gita as a curriculum in schools nationwide. Shetty suggested that Congress members read Bhagavad Gita ‘to gain wisdom to do good work’. Congress members were protesting in the House at the time over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and demanding the sacking of Union Minister for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra, whose son Ashish Mishra is one of the accused in the case.
‘There are some Bhagavad Gita resources available to students in grades six, seven, and eight. Bhagavad Gita is taught,’ the minister said in her reply. Nishikant Dubey asked the government if it was considering giving recognition to Bhojpuri or integrating the language into the curriculum of schools for grades 1-12 and higher education institutions. The new education policy provides that Indian language education and regional language education are to be mandatory for children in Jharkhand, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Schools can also teach Bhojpuri to children.
‘A new education policy will allow states to teach (Bhojpuri) in Class 1 through 12,’ the state minister for education replied. As a result, the Union government issues advisories to state governments periodically. ‘If the states choose to comply with them, they can provide instruction in Bhojpuri to students from classes 1 to 12,’ she said.