Bhagwat Gita in NCERT: Why not Manusmriti?

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Manusmriti

By Haider Abbas

The first step towards replacing the Constitution has been taken as it has been reported on December 22, in Lok Sabha, that Bhartiya Janta Party led National Democratic Government at the Center, has introduced Bhagwat Gita, a breligious text of Hindus in school curriculums. National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has added references to Srimad Bhagavad Gita to books of students of Class 6 & 7. Shlokas (verses) from Bhagavad Gita were also added in Sanskrit books of Classes 11 & 12. From now onwards the impressionable minds of millions are set to be attuned towards Hinduisation, which means, instilling a sense of superiority of Hindu culture, language and heritage over students of other religious faiths.

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What merits a mention, is that this foregone announcement has come, when BJP, which primarily ascribes to Hindutva ideology, which stems itself from RSS, which is primarily inspired by Manusmriti-the prime Hindu text.

Manusmriti focuses on human development only in terms of Upper Caste Hindus and the rest to live in subjugation and subservience. The Hindu society is divided in three Upper Caste factions i.e. Brahmin, Kshtriya and Vaish, while the rest around 85% are Shudras. BJP wants to implement Gita in schools, to bring up a generation based superiority of the Upper Caste Hindus, which will ultimately lead to the implementation of Manusmriti, and by then there would be no takes for the secularism inspired Constitution of India.  The seventy years of secularism which had been the bedrock of India’s way of life, even at notional level, are now to be consigned towards a back seat, as most arguably the next corollary of the move is to be for Manusmriti.

When Bhagwat Gita, which is a ‘bare-act of a war’ is to be forced unto the throats of the gullible children, ostensibly categorized as , Indian values education system,  the upcoming India, will get officially entrenched with civilizational prejudices as there would be no space under the sun other than those who are not Upper Caste Hindus. Who can deny, in the light of Bhagwat Gita, that Karan, the arch-rival of the Hindu icon Arjun, in the Mahabharata war, had to learn the skills of a warrior impersonating himself as a Brahmin!

Notwithstanding the example of a Shudra Eklavya who had leant the art of the usage  of bow and arrow, by camouflage, as he was denied studentship of a Brahmin Dronacharya. Eklavya had to forsake his thumb, as a gesture of gift towards his tutor, as Dronacharya never wanted his lessons to go to anyone other than Arjun.  A Shudra, therefore, was to be denied the know-how of war!

Therefore, the  traditional tropes of the Brahmin ideology of total monopoly of state as a ‘no secret’ are now to be put into order. Decades back, the imagination of millions had already been arrested by putting on air television serials like Ramayana and Mahabharata.  Now, the next-agenda, in the name of Gita as a book of universal humanism is to be put into place. Will the Eklavyas and Shambuks of modern India forced to forsake their thumbs and scalps in modern India, despite the Indian Penal Code in place under the gaze of democracy, is what is to be seen?  Shambuk was killed by Lord Rama. Ironically, Bhagwat Gita ‘to be banned or not ’ is under litigation in Russia.

The new curriculum is now to be laced with teachings from ancient Vedas, which is again a resuscitation of the Brahminical Social Oder, as centuries back, even if a sound of Vedas, was to reach a Shudra, he or she was to be administrated with melted-iron in the ears!  Now the Minister for State for Education Annapurna Devi is all geared to make Indian Knowledge System under National Education Policy 2022, get the desired push, on the ‘Indian ways of doing things’.  North East India’s role in India’s integration will be given more impetus which means the Mughal (read Muslim) rule over India would be give the least space. India is in conflict with China over North-East seven-sister states.

This saffronisation of education which had started under the vision of the Ex. BJP HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi ( 1998-2004) is now in for an easy walk, and is also concurrent with the developments in  US, a perfect ally of India, where there had been long ‘Bible-Classes’ in government schools, under the outgoing US President Donald Trump. Secularism has been left for fend-for-it!  If the words of Donald Trump are to be heeded, then, what does turn back mean? If not to reclaim the lost glory of the Roman Empire! The crusades that happened. Here, also aimed against Muslims! The US which once stood for state-and-religion to be separate entities is now back to kick-God into the classes, elaborated an article from The Atlantic. More and more States inside US are making Bible-reading a compulsory business.   Not to be left behind,  of course, is Israel, where Bible is taught three-times more than in Europe, reported Haaretz

The entire Bible-reach-out programme across the world is factored against Muslims, as who can deny, the Bagram controversy, when after the US invasion of Afghanistan, which the then US President George W Bush had likened with crusades, there were thousands of copies of Bible in Dari and Pashto languages unearthed, which were later burnt, as Christian missionaries wanted to convert Afghans into Christianity. This had led to a hue-and-cry in Islamic world and ended after the US soldiers involved in it were fired.

Closely on the heels, India is also to go-head, to introduce Bhagwat Gita and Chanakya’s Kautilya Arthshastra,  said The Deccan Chronicle , from much earlier than the latest declaration, under its College of Defense Management Programme, which researches the relevant aspects of modern warfare from ancient texts like Bhagwat Gita and Arthshastra. Very soon India will find this too.  The world-wide phenomenon of the rise of right-wing-politics is now on the high, and India right now is a great reflection to it. When secularism is US, where it was held-the-highest, is in tatters, in India, if it is on its death-bed, it does not at all come as a surprise.

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The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and writes on politics.

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