SFI against Bhagvad Gita camps

published on July 9, 2011

Bhagavad Gita campaign draws flak in Karnataka
By Rashmi Belur |  Bangalore | Agency: DNA

The state education department has landed in a new controversy after an initiative to conduct a Srimad Bhagavad Gita campaign in schools drew flak from several organisations including the Students Federation of India which alleged that the state government was out to saffronise of education.

Enraged SFI activists barged into a school in Kolar district that was conducting the campaign and staged a protest demonstration.“The state government is trying to saffronise education and this teaching of the Bhagavad Gita in schools is the first step in this direction,” an SFI activist alleged. Under the campaign, the Bhagavad Gita is taught in schools involving residents from their neighbourhoods. Besides schoolchildren, elders too can attend the classes.

Primary and secondary education minister Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri, however, clarified that neither the government nor his department had anything to do with the campaign.
“Those who criticise us should understand the background of the programme. I want to make it clear that the Bhagavad Gita campaign is not a government programme,” said Kageri.

The campaign was started four years ago by the Sondhe Swarnavalli Mutt of Sirsi. Sondhe mutt seer Gangadharendra Saraswathi Swamiji started the campaign in 28 districts of the state.

“When I took charge as education minister, the Swamiji approached me seeking our support. We have not provided them any financial support, but we have no objections to them conducting the programme in schools as their motive is laudable,” Kageri said.
“The government has always supported programmes with good motives. The Bhagavad Gita campaign is one such programme. We will include our students and teachers in all such programmes,” Kageri said.

How the campaign runs

The Sondhe Swarnavalli Mutt, Sirsi has constituted a Bhagavad Gita campaign committee. Representatives of this committee visit the chosen school and meet all the elders in its neighbourhood. A committee of the locals will be set up to guide the mutt in conducting the campaign.

The campaign committee members will conduct the campaign in the school. Sondhe mutt seer Sir Gangadhareshwara Saraswathi himself will take part in the campaign.
“We do not force anyone to take part in the campaign. It is left to the individual’s interests. We don’t insist that anyone should read or listen to the Bhagavad Gita. We will just narrate the gist of the Gita and provide copies of the Gita to those who want them,” a campaign committee member said.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report_bhagavad-gita-campaign-draws-flak-in-karnataka_1563991

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