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After unholy row, Maharashtra spikes distributing 'Bhagavad Gita' in Mumbai colleges

IANS  |  Mumbai/Nagpur 

After massive protests by the opposition parties over its purported decision to distribute free copies of Hindu holy scripture 'Bhagavad Gita', the indicated it has halted the move, a said on Thursday.

"We met the of Higher Education, Rohidas Kale and registered our strong sentiments in the matter. He categorically assured us that the decision has now been stayed and a fresh order will be issued tomorrow (on Friday)," Chhatra Bharati told IANS.

The had on Wednesday issued a circular permitting the A.C. Bhaktivedanta group to distribute holy book to select top 100 colleges in Mumbai, which sparked off a huge political controversy.

On Thursday, the major opposition parties attacked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena in the legislature session in Nagpur, questioning the need to introduce a religious element to academics, but the government rejected the allegations.

said that the proposal had come from the A.C. Bhaktivedanta group, Thane, which wanted to distribute free copies of the Bhagavad Gita, on which the took the decision.

"If anybody wants, we can also allow distribution of the Bible or Quran in colleges. But first, the opposition must clarify whether they feel is not a good enough book to be distributed among the students," he hit back, trying to corner the opposition.

State Nationalist Party said they were not opposed to the Bhagavad Gita, but questioned the need to distribute it in educational institutions.

The and leaders also strongly condemned the government move.

Tawde made it clear that the government has not ordered purchase of any copies of the Bhagavad Gita, nor was involved in the distribution of the holy book by the A.C. Bhaktivedanta group.

"Upon their request, we had provided them with the list of colleges which they had approached, plus they kept some copies at the DHE from where the colleges were asked to come and collect their quota," he said.

The Chhatra Bharati and the Republican Vidyarthi Sena were among the student organisations which asked why religious books should be mixed in the academic curriculum.

The stepped into the picture by warning of an agitation if the distribution of 'Bhagavad Gita' was not stopped immediately.

"Instead, the government must distribute copies of the Indian Constitution to the students," said a party

"The DHE has already said that a fresh circular stopping the distribution of will be issued tomorrow (Friday). If they fail to do so, we shall launch an agitation outside its office," the added.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 18:58 IST