From: The Times of IndiaBANGALORE: Karnataka primary and secondary education minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri is sticking to his guns on his controversial remark over the introduction of the Bhagwad Gita in schools. “This country believes in the Gita. Those who oppose it and believe in philosophies that are not of this country can go there and propagate them,” he told TOI on Tuesday.
At a function of the Gita Abhiyan last week in Kolar, the minister had come down heavily on those who opposed the introduction of the sacred text, which he said is aimed at inculcating ethical values among children. “Those who are opposing it are pampered by Western culture. Such people are welcome to leave our country and can go elsewhere,” he had said.
Asked why the government is interested in introducing the Gita in schools, the minister said: “It’s not a government programme. It wasn’t initiated by our government. In 2007, the Gita was introduced by the Sondha Swarnavalli Mutt of Uttara Kannada district in all districts of the state. We are not financing it, we are just encouraging it,” he said.
Asked what he would do if other communities also come up with similar demands, he said: “We will encourage any good work.”
“The Bhagwad Gita is accepted as one of the greatest epics of all times. No light can challenge sunlight, no other religious epic can compete with the Bhagwad Gita. Ethical values preached in the Gita have been accepted by many foreign countries, so there’s no fun discussing the merits and demerits of the Gita,” he said. Pointing out that Gita Abhiyan has been successfully conducted in jails to help inmates, he questioned why those who are opposing the programme now, didn’t raise their voice when the Abhiyan was taken up in jails.
TNN | Jul 21, 2011, 02.18am IST