Gita not a religious book, but one on philosophy: Acting NCM chief

09:44 AM Mar 26, 2022 | PTI |

Officiating chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities Syed Shahezadi on Friday said the Bhagavad Gita is not a religious book but one on philosophy, days after the Gujarat government announced making it a part of the school syllabus.


The Gujarat government last week announced in the state Assembly that the Bhagavad Gita would be a part of the school syllabus for Classes 6 to 12 across the state from the academic year 2022-23.

A few days later, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said a decision on introducing the Bhagavad Gita in the school curriculum would be taken after discussions as he maintained that the scripture imparts moral values.

Asked about the Gujarat government’s move and other states talking about introducing the Bhagavad Gita in the school curriculum, Shahezadi said, in her personal opinion, it “is not a religious book, it is a philosophy book”.

“It can be looked at from the point of view of philosophy. Studies are also being done on it abroad,” she said at a press conference at the NCM headquarters here.


Asked why the Quran or other religious texts were not being proposed to be introduced in the school curriculum, the officiating chief of the NCM said, “We do not stop anyone. We want that respect for each other’s religion should increase. We want books made available from all religions. We have made many recommendations to the Education Ministry.”

“In my personal opinion, we did not tell anyone to read Bhagavad Gita, or don’t read Quran, it depends on the individual. We can look at it from the point of philosophy also, something that is related to the country and its identity,” Shahezadi said.

Asked about the Hijab issue, she said, “The country does not run on yours and my sentiments, it runs on the Constitution. The court has given an order and we have to follow it.”

There is a court judgement and it has to be accepted, she added.

Her remarks come a day after the Supreme Court refused to accord urgent hearing on the pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict which dismissed the petitions seeking permission to wear hijab inside the classroom and stated that the headscarf is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islam.


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