We hope the same sense prevails in other matters too
The order to include Urdu version of Bhagavad Gita and Koshur Ramayan stands revoked. The School Education Department, the Higher Education Department as well as Director Libraries and Cultural Department – all were given instructions to purchase some sacred books. That triggered a new debate of fusing politics with curriculum.
Firstly, it is beyond the comprehension of a common man to understand the need of such an order? Secondly, even if it would have been implemented, what was it going to yield? Let’s make it clear and confident that if such an order is implemented in future, it is not going to change the psyche of a student who lives within and outside the school with the friends mostly of same faith. I failed in my judgment while imagining what would have been the reaction of students holding and handling these sacred scriptures. Isn’t it obvious that majority of the students would be disinterested in these religious books the way they are disinterested in the sacred books of their own faith. Haven’t we dusted and shelved our own holy books? Furthermore, a forced curriculum cannot change the ideology of any student. The books indeed carry the record of old Hindu civilizations and culture but an intention of cultural invasion and cultural imperialism through such a means would be intolerable and unacceptable to any liberal society.
Also, selective books of a particular religion made it a point of discourse in all conscious circles. The nation that boasts about the secular fabric of its country cannot and shall not compel its citizens to sing the tunes of their choice particularly when they are dealing a sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir, where only a small spark can engulf the whole state with wide fires. How could they forget that the state is dominated by the Muslim population having the status of only Muslim majority state of the country? Isn’t it an additional bonus for the secular fabric of the country!
I have seen students grown up in Jawaharlal Navodaya Vidyalaya and Kendriya Vidyalas where each and every student is taught to be the most patriotic. They recite Jana Gana Manna, Hum Nav Yug ke naye Bharti, & Sare Jahan se acha etc in morning prayers. Teachers there are from all over the India, from every sect, every religion and race. Nationalism & Patriotism is the life blood of students and Vande Matram is a part of curriculum but still they didn’t grow up like the way state wanted them to. They celebrate 15th August, 26 January with passion and enthusiasm. They are tuned to set their brains to be great politicians by introducing Youth Parliament, but practically all these exercises are forgotten with the passage of time because the architecture of social life is different in our state and the situation totally opposite of what was taught during schooling. In their own vicinities, they experience the contrast of everything. The indoctrinated feelings of school life are converted into reality and they start living their lives as per their understanding and the atmosphere they live amidst.
Force won’t help in education. This reality has dawned on the policy makers. Hope wisdom will prevail and Government will introspect before circulating any such order in future. It is easy to occupy the lands and territories but not brains and emotions which are only won with love and not by force. It is love that has tendency to appeal and attract whereas the force nourishes hatred and repulsion.
Thankfully government immediately sensed the gravity of the matter and modified the circular issued by the education department regarding introduction of these religious books and withdrew it promptly. Perhaps they might have understood that such an order will create trouble and shall further develop a sense of anger and angst among its subjects. The way Governor is handling the state with love and amicable approach and has taken some tough transparent decisions, it is expected that Education department too shall be let free from any political fiddling in its curriculum in future.