Karnataka primary and secondary education minister BC Nagesh has sparked a controversy by saying that Bible, Quran should not be taught in schools as they are strictly religious texts, but the Bhagavad Gita is a book which speaks about “values needed to lead life”.
Bengaluru archbishop Peter Machado hit back at Nagesh on Thursday, saying: “An education minister is a learned man, but he should stick to his area of expertise — education — and leave matters of religion and their interpretation to religious leaders… There are no books written ‘only for morality’ or some books written ‘only for religion’. Religion is the basis of morality.”
Earlier this month, Nagesh had announced that the Bhagavad Gita would be introduced in school curricula.
The row comes at a time when a school in Bengaluru is facing outrage from right-wing groups for allegedly seeking a declaration from parents allowing mandatory Bible classes for children. The education department is now seeking a probe into the matter.
Machado, who was part of the press briefing by the school on Thursday, refuted claims of students being “forced” to bring the Bible to school and allegations of forced religious conversions, saying Christian minority institutions were being targeted. “The burden of the allegation lies in providing tangible proof of conversion in the school,” he said.
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