Being born in a Hindu family does not make me a Hindu… and Gita in my syllabus could turn me into an RSS Pracharak one day!

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It’s fundamentally an absurd idea! One is not born into a faith, it can neither be pre-ordained, nor can it be imposed. One must experience several faiths before embracing one. Only after understanding, and believing, in the underlying message of a faith, among many, should one adopt it. Because in the end, religion is nothing but a way of life, and I should not choose that which interferes with it, or makes little sense.

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They say I am a Hindu, but what do they know!

A Christian is not born a Christian. He embraces the faith only after baptization, a process that christens him. Only after holy dip will a prospective Christian adopt the faith, after understanding its significance and teachings. It makes perfect sense.

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I could imbibe a few philosophies in life from Geeta if it adds value, I may not mind being entertained again through Ramayana and Mahabharata, but I don’t need that as part of my curriculum. Not just because I don’t consider myself Hindu, but also because mixing religion with education would be a dangerous concoction. Without my even realizing, who knows, the Hindu-centric sentiments could become a part of my mind, not because I approve of it, but because I was forced to study Gita and its philosophies for years and years. In fact, why only Gita, even Holy Bible and Holy Quran should remain scriptures, not sources of new-age education.

New Delhi: Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani addresses the Times Group's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme in New Delhi on June 10, 2015. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

The Culture and HRD ministries are pondering over the introduction of Gita, Mahabharata and Ramayan into our syllabus. This is akin to inflicting Hindu values on Non-Hindu students.

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The Culture and HRD ministries are pondering over the introduction of Gita, Mahabharata and Ramayan into our syllabus. This is akin to inflicting Hindu values on Non-Hindu students.

The official stand? To rid the Hindu society of cultural pollution, besides inculcating values. It’s too bookish a justification!

The intentions may be pious, but there is no sense in the move. Taking emotional decisions are anyway always wrong.  This could potentially turn a secular country into a Hindu-dominant country. India is a secular State, and if non-Hindu students are subjected to lessons from Hindu scriptures, then lessons from the Quran, the Bible and Guru Granth Sahib should also be included in the syllabus. If Gita is the religious book of Hindus, that teaches us ‘values’, why not incorporate Quran and Bible in the curriculum too, considering we are secular?

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Perhaps, saying that we needed to rid ourselves of cultural pollution is in itself a communal statement. We need to respect every other religion, not treat them as pollutants!

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