Terming it as "totally misleading and baseless" that a Gita lesson has been included in school syllabus due to elections or religious consideration, the Madhya Pradesh government has clarified that it has also incorporated subjects of other religions in textbooks.
The state BJP government government has been drawing flak from the Opposition Congress and various other quarters over its recent circular to introduce episodes from the sacred Bhagvad Gita even in the curriculum of Urdu schools from academic session 2013-14.
Slamming the government move, opposition Congress on Monday alleged that the decision was taken at the behest of RSS and aimed at dividing society on communal lines to drive political mileage in the election year.
Later, an official release issuedin Bhopal on Monday evening said that apart from Gita, project works have also been assigned to include subjects of other religions in school books. These include - life sketch of Paigambar Mohammad Sahib, Karbala incident, Guru Nanak Dev, Gautam Buddha, Mahavir Swami, Jesus Christ and Nawaz of Ajmer.
Lessons, poems and information on Christmas, Bibi Fatima's life sketch, Holi, Id, Diwali, Onam, Dusshera, Guru Parv and Mahavir Jayanti have also been included in school books of various classes, the release said. In Urdu text books, only two messages of Gita have been included and none of them can be regarded as religious or communal in nature, the release added.
In its latest circular issued on August 1, Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has decided to add one chapter each based on incidents from Bhagvad Gita in the textbooks of General Hindi prescribed to class III-VIII, Special English and Special Urdu in Class I and II for this academic session. The circular came within a month of a July 4 notification that a chapter based on incidents in Bhagvad Gita will be added to textbooks of Special Hindi prescribed to Class IX to Class XII and Special English in Class XI and XII for the academic session 2013-14.