Karnataka: After hijab row, Bible in school triggers controversy
Months after the hijab ban controversy erupted in Karnataka, Bengaluru's Clarence High School has now taken an undertaking from parents that they wouldn't object to their children carrying the Bible to the school. The school's move has invited the wrath of certain right-wing groups, who called it a violation of the Karnataka Education Act, India Today reported. Here's more.
- Communal tensions have recently seen a surge across India. Recently, the hijab ban in educational institutions in Karnataka also sparked a nationwide debate.
- Now, the Bengaluru school allegedly asking students to carry the Bible on school premises is brewing up new controversy in the BJP-ruled state.
- This also comes at a time the Karnataka government is reportedly mulling introducing the Bhagavad Gita in schools.
Right-wing group, Hindu Janajagruti Samithi, has claimed that the Bengaluru school is forcing non-Christian students to also learn the teachings of the Holy Bible. The organization's Karnataka spokesperson Mohan Gowda raised an objection to the school's directives claiming the school's children are being compelled to accept a certain community's education. However, Clarence High School in its defense said that it provides a Bible-based education.
A parents' declaration form for the school's Grade 11 admission application reads: "You affirm that your child will attend all classes including Morning Assembly Scripture Class and Clubs for his/her own moral and spiritual welfare." It states parents shouldn't object to children carrying the Bible and Hymn Book during their stay at school. Hindu Janajagruti Samithi urged the education department to act against it.
Recently, the Gujarat government decided to include the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita in the school syllabus for Classes 6-12 to "cultivate a sense of pride and connection to traditions." Following this, the Karnataka government is also considering introducing Bhagavad Gita in the school syllabus. IANS reported that Karnataka's Education Department is preparing to teach the holy Hindu scripture to students in the moral science subject.
The Bible controversy comes at a time when the Karnataka government is deliberating on including the Bhagavad Gita in the schools. Karnataka's Education Minister BC Nagesh had said he favored the introduction of moral science in the state curriculum. "I will discuss with CM [Basavaraj] Bommai for implementation of the moral science subject in the syllabus," Nagesh was earlier quoted as saying by IANS.