The decision of the BJP government in Karnataka to allow the teaching of The Bhagvad Gita in government schools has created an uproar in the state. Already, the High Court has sent a notice to the state and Union governments in response to a PIL filed by the Minorities Educational Institutions Managements Federation, an NGO, challenging the government’s circular on teaching the Gita in schools. Comments by Vishweshwara Hegde, the state’s primary and secondary education minister, that those who oppose the teaching of the Gita “should quit India” has only aggravated matters. “The government is suggesting that teaching The Gita in schools is nationalism. And those who oppose it are anti-national. Is it going to be The Bhagvad Gita or the Constitution?” asks Rati Rao, secretary of the Komu Sauharda Vedike (KSV), a coalition of organisations working towards communal harmony. The KSV is leading a protest rally on 21 July from the CM’s residence in Bangalore. In Mysore, where a protest is underway, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and members of the Dalit Sangarsh Samiti are holding a seminar on ‘Constitution or Bhagvad Gita’.
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