The teachings of the Bhagavad Gita will soon be compulsory for students in Urdu-medium schools of Madhya Pradesh.
A recent order of the state government had permitted the inclusion of chapter based on incidents enumerated in the Bhagavad Gita in the textbooks of different classes including special English and special Urdu in Class 1 and 2 for the academic session 2013-14.
The Congress reacted cautiously to the Madhya Pradesh government's decision saying there was nothing wrong in it but demanded the inclusion of "some components from other religions as well."
"All religions are good. There is nothing wrong in Gita being taught but it will be better if some components from other religions are also included so that people can realise that those fanning disputes in the name of religion are wrong. They should add other things in that. They should also include from the Koran, the Bible and the Guru Granth Sahib," party spokesperson Meem Afzal said.
An earlier order by the government to introduce Bhagavad Gita teachings in the school syllabus had evoked protests from minority groups in past and the government's recent move is hence being linked with politics ahead of the upcoming assembly elections there in a few months.
To a question on whether students should be burdened with religious texts other than focusing on IT and other such courses, Afzal was quick to add "this is our suggestion if some people want to teach that (religious texts)".
Photograph: Ahmad Masood/Reuters