The petition filed by Catholic Bishop’s Council against introduction of ‘Geeta Sar’ or Essence of Bhagavad Geetha in school curriculum, has been dismissed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday. The petition was filed in August 2011. The petition was filed by the Council spokesman Fr Anand Muttungal.
The court upheld the fact that Bhagavad Geeta contained no religious teachings, but contained only the philosophy of life. Earlier, the court had given the petitioner’s counsel a time limit of 2 months to study the holy text in entirety and then come to any decision. According to Additional Advocate General Prashant Singh, the Division Bench comprising of Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Sanjay Yadav asked the petitioner a few questions. Not satisfied with the answers given, the court declared that the Bhagavad Geeta was Indian Philosophy and not a religious text. The petition was dismissed thereafter.
Without directly opposing the teaching of Bhagavad Geeta, the petition said that the state government of Madhya Pradesh should include teaching of an outline of all religions, without focusing on one particular religion alone. The petitioner stated that the council was to take a resolution on challenging the court order after they read the complete order.
Another matter cited in the PIL were the names used by the state government of Madhya Pradesh for their various schemes. According to the petitioner, names like Ladli Laxmi, Balram Tal, Kapil Dhara etc and practices like ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ at government functions promoted a single religion. The names, which were drawn from Hindu mythology, did not convey a secular image.
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