College students in Mumbai could soon be getting a copy of Bhagavad Gita from the state government. According to News18, the Maharashtra Education Department has decided to distribute Bhagavad Gita to the students in 100 colleges in Mumbai that have been accredited A and A+. However, state Education Minister Vinod Tawde rubbished the reports that this was being done by the state government.
According to media reports, a circular has been issued which states that the revered textbook will be distributed to the students. Besides, non-government aided colleges have also been asked to get their sets of the holy book.
Tawde told ANI that the government is not distributing Bhagavad Gita, instead, the Bhakti Vedanta Trust from Bhiwandi is distributing the book among the students. He informed that the government has just provided the list of the colleges to the Trust.
“Government is not distributing Bhagavad Gita. Bhakti Vedanta Trust from Bhiwandi wanted to distribute Bhagwad Gita at colleges. We provided them with a list of colleges,” he said.
He added that the state government will share the list of colleges. “If someone says they want to distribute Quran and Bible, we will give them the list of colleges too,” Tawde said while responding to a question whether the government will share the list of colleges with other Trusts seeking permission to distribute holy books of other religions.
Earlier in the day, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azi slammed the BJP government and accused it of misleading students in the name of religion. He said that this has been done keeping the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in mind.
“The circular was issued by the Joint Director. Why distribute only Bhagavad Gita in A and A+ schools? Quran and Bible should also be distributed. Holy books of other religions should also be distributed. They will read whether they wish to. I have no objection to this, but by distributing such materials, you are misleading children. It is the beginning of the preparations for 2019,” he said.