J&K govt withdraws order on Ramayana, Gita in schools

Bhagwad Gita

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday withdrew a circular that had recommended religious scriptures like Ramayana and Bhagwad Gita to be made available at all educational institutions hours after it evoked a controversy.

“Circular issued by the education department regarding the introduction of some religious books stands withdrawn ab initio under the orders of the chief secretary,” Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a tweet on Tuesday. 
 
The order to introduce Urdu version of Ramayana and Bhagwad Gita in schools/colleges and public libraries had been issued after the decision was taken in a meeting chaired by advisor to Governor B B Vyas on October 4. In wake of the meeting, the administrative department of education had shot a letter to the directors of school education department in both Kashmir and Jammu divisions. 
 
“The school education department will consider purchasing a sufficient number of copies each of Urdu version of ‘Shrimad Bhagavad Gita’ and ‘Koshur Ramayan’ authored by Shri Sarwanand Premi for making these available in schools/colleges and public libraries etc,” reads an official communiqué dated 22.10.2018 signed by the under-secretary school education department.
 
The order triggered a storm on social media with former chief minister Omar Abdullah questioning why only selective religious books are to be placed in schools colleges and government libraries.
 
“Why just the Gita and Ramayana? If religious texts are to be placed in schools, colleges and government libraries (and I’m not convinced that they need/should be) then why is it being done selectively? Why are other religions being ignored (sic),” he tweeted.
 
Earlier the education department had decided to introduce Vedic and Buddhist studies at the higher secondary level in the state. According to the 2011 Census, Muslims form around 68%m of the population in Jammu and Kashmir and Hindus are a little over 28%. Sikhs and Buddhists form 1.9% and 0.9% of the state's population respectively.
 
 

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J&K govt withdraws order on Ramayana, Gita in schools

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