After the hijab row, a new controversy over religious scriptures in school erupts in Karnataka.

A school in Karnataka's capital city of Bengaluru made it compulsory for its students to carry the Holy Bible inside the school's premises.
After the hijab row, a new controversy over religious scriptures in school erupts in Karnataka.
Supreme Court's direction states that no one can force one kind of religious teachings on children of other religions. (Unsplash)

The ongoing controversy about the inclusion of Bhagavad Gita in the school syllabus has taken a different turn since the news break about a school in Karnataka's capital city of Bengaluru making it compulsory for its students to carry the Holy Bible inside its premises. Reports also state that Clarence High School has taken a no-objection clearance and undertaking from every parent about the issue. The undertaking clearly states that the parents do not have any objection to the decision of the school.

The no objection declaration that the school gave to the parents reads - You affirm that your child will attend all classes including Morning Assembly Scripture Class and Clubs for his/her own moral and spiritual welfare and will not object to carrying the Bible and Hymn Book during his/her stay at Clarence High School.

In response to this, the Hindu Janajagruti Samithi State Spokesperson Mohan Gowda said that Clarence High School is forcing non-Christan students to compulsorily carry and read the Bible, which directly violates articles 25 and 30 of the Indian constitution. He added that this is a religious conspiracy and is against the Supreme Court's direction which states that no one can force religious teachings on children of other religions.

A few days ago, several reports claimed that the Karnataka government is planning to introduce Hindu epics and scriptures like Ramayan, Mahabharat and Gita in the school syllabus from the next academic year.

Giving clarity on the reports, the state education minister B.C. Nagesh said, “From next year, moral education will be added to the school syllabus. ‘Bhagavad Gita’, ‘Mahabharat’ and ‘Panchatantra Stories’ will also be part of moral education. Whichever ideologies help children towards higher morals would be adopted in moral education. It won’t be confined to religion. The aspects from various religious texts which are beneficial to children would be adopted. However, the aspects of a particular religion followed by 90 per cent of children would find more preference and it is inevitable”.

Several responses have started coming on social media. From Christian missionary propaganda & mass conversion mafia to Christian evangelist terrorism. According to many users on social media, the decision of the school exposes the loopholes in India's constitution and its governance system. Users also pointed out the threat of mass-scale conversion of Hindu kids using the Holy Bible and India's constitutional right of propagation of one's religion.

After the hijab row, this new controversy about the inclusion of religious scriptures in the school syllabus is poised to grow into a larger issue. Moreover, what needs to be seen is the action of the state government on the issue and the response of the state judiciary, i.e. the high court.

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