After Backlash, J&K govt withdraws order on Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana in schools

Deepika S

Srinagar, Oct 23: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday withdrew an order asking educational institutions to purchase copies of the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana for their libraries.

The order

An order issued by the state Chief Secretary here said: "Circular issued by the Education Department regarding the introduction of some religious books stands withdrawn."

The state government had issued the circular Monday, directing the Director of School Education for the Jammu and Kashmir divisions to purchase these religious books.

The circular had asked the School Education department, the Higher Education department, directors of colleges and libraries and the Culture department to consider purchasing a sufficient number of copies of the Urdu version of "Bhagwat Geeta" and "Koshur Ramayana", authored by Sarwanand Premi.

Govt ignoring other religions, says Omar Abdullah

The circular had generated opposition from various quarters, with former chief minister Omar Abdullah questioning the decision to ignore the books of other religions. "Why just the Gita & Ramayana? If religious texts are to be placed in schools, colleges & government libraries (and I'm not convinced that they need/should be) then why is it being done selectively? Why are other religions being ignored?," the National Conference (NC) leader had said in a tweet.

Ghulam Nabi Azad welcomes govt move to withdraw order

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said that Kashmir is the one place in India where there has been no communalism. If the government introduced religious books in education and then realised their mistake and revoked it, it is good. The government should not get involved in such matters, Azad also said.

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