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Introduction of Bhagwad Gita for young minds

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By Yajush Gupta

Crumble the thought! It’s unconstitutional. What about secularism? what about article 15 and 25 of the Indian constitution? Is it not forcing religion on fragile minds of children?

And most importantly , Is it lawful?

These are just the kind of questions that come to mind.

Before we answer these questions, let’s decipher the Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. Law is about how we interpret it. And article 25 is perhaps, the most misinterpreted article in the Indian constitution. It guarantees the freedom to follow any religion and propagate it,yet this freedom comes with a responsibility to ensure that the public order,morality and health are not compromised in the process.

Now the important question is, does including Gita as part of school curriculum serve any purpose? Can it help the youth to develop into something better?

Haryana chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar already decided to introduce Bhagavad Gita in schools last year. The proposed notion has been strongly misunderstood by many. It is important to understand the purpose, more like an offering for morality and spirituality.

If only we understand, Bhagwad Gita to be the eternal message of spiritual wisdom, from one of the most ancient Indian text, rather than a religious book. If we desperately want to preserve our vast culture and literature,and promise a better future for ourselves, how is it unfair? Also to study history of ancient India, it is necessary to study the Gita, simultaneously making sure to not harm the belief of any religious group, so as to grasp a better understanding of our countries ancient past.

Can there be a midway approach, so that no sentiments are hurt?

If the content to be taught is meticulously arranged,which can actually offer the students with values and truthfulness, unbiased to any religion, it would define the true meaning of education. The motto is not to preach any religion but to inculcate non-material knowledge into little minds so that roots are still bridged together with our rich ancient culture.
The scope of education and knowledge would be limitless. I mean, This is what education is about! Right?

Source://bhagavad-gita.org

Facts from://huffingtonpost.in //centreright.in

Contactme @yajush_gupta

  • sudheer naik

    The teachings of Bhagwad Gita to students improves positive mindset.Students can know the difference between what is right to do and not to do.

  • Annesha Das Gupta

    Let’s see. As far as I can see, the decision is drowned up to its neck in power politics and playing the ‘majority card’. By saying ‘majority’, I mean, the largest or perhaps most wide spread religion in this world, will have to be Hinduism. Oh, just consider the population of our country. We already have Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata in our middle-school curriculum ( including the English-mediums) and which preach what? True education? Misogynistic customs like Ram asking to Sita to give a ‘Agni Pariksha’ to prove her purity (read virginity) and the level of casteism in Mahabharata, don’t make me even start on it. Why there is no decision regarding implementation of Quran or Bible? Well, because you say it is a decision taken to foster morality and spirituality. But I say what about science, rationale and Atheism?

    • Yajush Gupta

      Okay, to begin with “the largest or perhaps most wide spread religion in this world, will have to be Hinduism”. Seriously? to the best of my knowledge, India is the only Hindu country on the globe,meaning, not more than 15 % of the world population is Hindu. And what’s wrong with introducing a book of spirituality in the school curriculum? I mean, we have no problem in reading a bible, at a convent.

      Mahabharata and Ramayana are “Sanskrit epics” ! They were never meant to preach anything, not at least morality. You can’t judge an epic war tale ! It’s like reading Ben-Hur to learn something from it ! And lastly the majority card? we are a secular nation. It’s the minority card that works wonders here.

  • Yajush Gupta

    Okay, to begin with “the largest or perhaps most wide spread religion in this world, will have to be Hinduism”. Seriously? to the best of my knowledge, India is the only Hindu country on the globe.
    meaning, not more than 15 % of the world population is hindu. And what’s wrong with introducing a book of spirituality in the school curriculum? I mean, we have no problem in reading a bible, if you ever have studied in a convent.
    More over MAHABHARATA AND RAMAYANA ARE SANSKRIT EPICS. They were never meant to preach anything, not at least morality. You can’t judge an epic war tale ! It’s like reading Ben-hur to learn something from it ! And lastly the majority card? we are a secular nation. It’s the minority card that works wonders here.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Do not forget that even before court of law one has to swear by Geeta and not by Mahabharata or Ramayana or Bible. Bhagwad Geeta is not any religious or historical novel. The doctrine of Bhagwad Geeta guides humans to follow the path of truth and mankind.

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  • sudheer naik

    The teachings of Bhagwad Gita to students improves positive mindset.Students can know the difference between what is right to do and not to do.

  • Annesha Das Gupta

    Let’s see. As far as I can see, the decision is drowned up to its neck in power politics and playing the ‘majority card’. By saying ‘majority’, I mean, the largest or perhaps most wide spread religion in this world, will have to be Hinduism. Oh, just consider the population of our country. We already have Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata in our middle-school curriculum ( including the English-mediums) and which preach what? True education? Misogynistic customs like Ram asking to Sita to give a ‘Agni Pariksha’ to prove her purity (read virginity) and the level of casteism in Mahabharata, don’t make me even start on it. Why there is no decision regarding implementation of Quran or Bible? Well, because you say it is a decision taken to foster morality and spirituality. But I say what about science, rationale and Atheism?

    • Yajush Gupta

      Okay, to begin with “the largest or perhaps most wide spread religion in this world, will have to be Hinduism”. Seriously? to the best of my knowledge, India is the only Hindu country on the globe,meaning, not more than 15 % of the world population is Hindu. And what’s wrong with introducing a book of spirituality in the school curriculum? I mean, we have no problem in reading a bible, at a convent.

      Mahabharata and Ramayana are “Sanskrit epics” ! They were never meant to preach anything, not at least morality. You can’t judge an epic war tale ! It’s like reading Ben-Hur to learn something from it ! And lastly the majority card? we are a secular nation. It’s the minority card that works wonders here.

  • Yajush Gupta

    Okay, to begin with “the largest or perhaps most wide spread religion in this world, will have to be Hinduism”. Seriously? to the best of my knowledge, India is the only Hindu country on the globe.
    meaning, not more than 15 % of the world population is hindu. And what’s wrong with introducing a book of spirituality in the school curriculum? I mean, we have no problem in reading a bible, if you ever have studied in a convent.
    More over MAHABHARATA AND RAMAYANA ARE SANSKRIT EPICS. They were never meant to preach anything, not at least morality. You can’t judge an epic war tale ! It’s like reading Ben-hur to learn something from it ! And lastly the majority card? we are a secular nation. It’s the minority card that works wonders here.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Do not forget that even before court of law one has to swear by Geeta and not by Mahabharata or Ramayana or Bible. Bhagwad Geeta is not any religious or historical novel. The doctrine of Bhagwad Geeta guides humans to follow the path of truth and mankind.

Next Story

More Science Careers: African School Of Physics on Mission To Educate New African Generation Through Traveling Program

"Science is increasingly recognized as an important engine of economic growth and societal advancement," she wrote in an email. She noted "increasing numbers of such programs on the African continent, where there is a surging young population entering the workforce."

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Africa
Ketevi Assamagan, a particle physicist at the U.S.-based Brookhaven National Laboratory, co-founded the African School of Physics, a training program for graduate students in math and sciences. (Photo courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory) VOA

Africa-born particle physicist Ketevi Assamagan is a man on a mission. His goal is to bring science education to a new generation of young Africans through a traveling program known as the African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications, or ASP.

“Sometimes, people just need some help to be able to find the right resources,” said Assamagan, an ASP founder who works at the U.S. Energy Department’s Brookhaven National Laboratory here on Long Island. “So, together with some colleagues, we decided to create this school.”

Born in Guinea, Assamagan grew up in Togo and earned a doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1995. Gratitude to past mentors fueled his desire to start the ASP, he said.

Positive elements

The ASP program runs for three weeks every two years in a different African country. The first was in 2010 in South Africa, with subsequent gatherings in Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda and Namibia. The next is planned for July 2020 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Each workshop brings together up to 80 students, who are treated to intensive lectures and training by top-flight physicists.

Physicist Ketevi Assamagan demonstrates how a cloud chamber works. (A. Phillips/VOA)
Physicist Ketevi Assamagan demonstrates how a cloud chamber works. (A. Phillips/VOA)

“We get students from all over Africa [who] have at least three years of university education,” Assamagan said. “The majority of them are usually at the master’s level and they come from different fields: nuclear and high energy physics, medical applications, computing, mathematics and theoretical physics.”

The students’ expenses are covered by roughly 20 international sponsors, including the Brookhaven lab; the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy; the South African Department of Science and Technology; and Italy’s National Institute for Nuclear Physics.

Another sponsor has been the European Center for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, in Geneva. Assamagan worked on CERN’s particle accelerator for several years while conducting research on the elusive Higgs boson subatomic particle. He left in 2001 to join Brookhaven.

Sustained support

After the program, participants are paired with senior mentors who offer advice on additional education, teaching and research opportunities, both in Africa and abroad.

For Zimbabwe native Last Feremenga, participation in the 2010 ASP workshop served as a springboard to a doctorate in physics from the University of Texas. Now he’s a data scientist with Digital Reasoning, an artificial intelligence firm headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I sift through large datasets of written text in search of rare forms of conversations/language. These rare conversations are useful for our clients from health care to finance,” the 32-year-old told VOA in an email. He added that he’s using “similar tactics” to those he learned at ASP.

Julia MacKenzie, senior director of international affairs for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says training programs such as ASP are especially important in developing countries.

“Science is increasingly recognized as an important engine of economic growth and societal advancement,” she wrote in an email. She noted “increasing numbers of such programs on the African continent, where there is a surging young population entering the workforce.”

“A potential impact of graduate training is exposure to new ideas and people,” MacKenzie added. “Any time graduate students can come together, it’s likely that new friendships will form, and those relationships can provide support through inevitable challenges and spawn new collaborations.”

application learning
“We get students from all over Africa [who] have at least three years of university education,” Assamagan said. “The majority of them are usually at the master’s level and they come from different fields: nuclear and high energy physics, medical applications, computing, mathematics and theoretical physics.” Pixabay
Hands-on learning

Assamagan says that when he was in high school in Togo, science was taught from second-hand textbooks from abroad. There was no experimentation.

“Direct involvement … in terms of playing with things and getting mental challenge to try to figure it out was not really there,” he said. “We want to resolve that” through ASP.

The 70 or so science teachers at the workshop last year in Namibia learned hands-on experiments that could be replicated with scant equipment and resources.

For example, using only a small plastic box with an aluminum plate, tin foil, Styrofoam, pure alcohol and dry ice, high school students could build a tabletop “cloud chamber” to simulate the detection of cosmic particles from outer space. Another experiment taught physics to elementary school children by way of art. The children could drip paint on a canvas tilted at various angles, then observe the patterns the paint made as it descended.

Also Read: E-Commerce Policy: Centre To Regulate Cross-Border Flow Of Data

“You can then start introducing the idea of gravity,” Assamagan said. “And then relating things falling down to the Earth going around the sun as being driven by the same force.”

Assamagan predicts a bright future for physics research in Africa. He says he sees talent and commitment, but that more digital libraries, along with continent-wide access to high-speed internet connections and the political will to provide them, are needed. (VOA)