Speaking about the moral science subject, the state Education Minister said it was inevitable that aspects of a religion followed by 90% of children would find more preference, while mentioning Ramayana, Mahabharata and other texts.

Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh: Karnataka mulls including Ramayana, Mahabharata in school syllabusFacebook/BC Nagesh Tiptur
news Education Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 19:04

The Karnataka government is likely to introduce Hindu religious texts –  Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, and Mahabharata – in its school curriculum from the next academic year, in the field of ‘moral science.’ Though a proposal in this regard was made some time ago, the ruling BJP government had kept it in abeyance amidst strong opposition against the move. Clearing the air on Tuesday, April 19, state Education Minister BC Nagesh said: "From next year, moral science will be added to the school syllabus. Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata, Ramayana and Panchatantra could also be part of moral education," he stated.

“Moral science will be introduced next year. Proven cases that help children increase their moral strength will be included. Stories from Panchatantra, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad Gita, could become a part of the moral science class. Whatever texts will help the moral fibre of students will be considered,” he said. While Nagesh said that the texts won't be limited to any one religion, he also said it was inevitable that aspects of “a particular religion followed by 90% of children” would find more preference. No exams will be conducted for the moral science subject, he added. 

“In whichever religion there are good, relevant texts that help students, they will be included. It won't be confined to a religion. The aspects from various religious texts which are beneficial to children would be adopted. However, the aspects of a particular religion followed by 90% of children would find more preference and it is inevitable," the minister said.

Minister Nagesh also clarified that the title 'Mysuru Huli' (Lion of Mysuru) of the erstwhile ruler of Mysuru Kingdom Tipu Sultan will be retained in the textbooks. BJP MLA Appachu Ranjan has demanded to drop the lesson on Tipu Sultan. 

Read: Tone down chapters glorifying Tipu Sultan, textbook panel tells Karnataka govt

The move to introduce the Hindu texts in the school syllabus has come in the wake of the rising polarisation within educational institutions in the state over Muslim students being denied permission to wear the hijab inside classrooms. On March 15, the Karnataka High Court dismissed a batch of pleas by student petitioners against the ban on wearing hijab in classrooms, and ruled that “wearing the hijab is not an essential practice under Islam.” 

Also read: 

Karnataka teachers asked not to wear hijabs during PU exams, govt says no such mandate

‘Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana will help students gain moral clarity’: Karnataka Edu Min to TNM

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