The Gujarat High Court on Monday sought the state government’s response by August 18 on a plea challenging a resolution to make the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita a part of the school curriculum, reported Bar and Bench.
The plea against the resolution was filed by the Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind.
On March 17, the Gujarat government announced in the Assembly that Bhagavad Gita will be a part of the school syllabus for Class 6 to Class 12 from the academic year 2022-’23, reported The Wire. The schools will also conduct activities based on the scripture such as reciting shlokas and prayers, quizzes, comprehension, drama, painting and elocution competitions, Education Minister Jitu Vaghani said.
In its petition, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind argued that the resolution violates Constitution’s Article 14 which deals with equality before law and Article 28, which bans religious instruction in state-run educational institutions.
“It is an undisputed fact that the Gita is a religious book of the Hindus and all the values enunciated in the Gita are interwoven with the tenets of Hinduism,” the petition said, according to Bar and Bench.
However, the resolution granted preferential treatment to one religion over others and that it violates constitutional morality, the petition stated.
The plea submitted that educating students in only one religion can indoctrinate them about the superiority of the faith being taught. It said that this would go against the exercise of free choice and conscience guaranteed under Article 21 and Article 25 of the Constitution.
“The impugned resolution under the garb of implementing a value-based education system... selects one book as a book of values and mandates teaching the same,” it said.
Lawyer Mihir Joshi, representing Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind said that according to the Right to Education, a statutory organisation frames the curriculum and recommends it to the state government, reported PTI.
However, Joshi argued that the statuary body, in this case, the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training, was asked to prepare the curriculum. This order is without jurisdiction and opposed to the provisions of the Right to Education.