'Saffronise' schools in Karnataka, advises state BJP chief
Since the BJP came to power in the Indian state of Karnataka there has been a “rise in violations against minorities, including restrictions on religious freedom.” This article discusses attempts to push the ideologies of Hindutva in over 70,000 schools, a process being described as “saffronisation.”
By John Malhotra
06/18/2012 India (ChristianToday)- For furthering its communal agenda, the ruling party in Karnataka has brazenly given a call to 'saffronise' schools across the state.
KS Eshwarappa, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka, on Sunday proudly advised the education minister to push the ideologies of Hindutva in Karnataka's 70,000 schools.
"It is essential to preserve religion and culture. There is an allegation of saffronisation. I advise the education minister to continue saffronisation in Karnataka's 70,000 schools. I wish him good luck in this," Eshwarappa said.
The BJP state president was speaking at a programme involving the education department's greening programme in Shimoga.
"Saffronisation is not related to any religion. Even planting of saplings could be called saffronisation. Hindus worship trees. The tree requires manure and water. We worship cow, which gives manure as gomatha, and Ganga and Tunga rivers as mother," a leading national daily quoted Eshwarappa saying.
Karnataka state has about 50,000 government schools and 20,000 private schools.
"As the education minister I support the campaign. The government is ready to give money to mutts that support religion and culture, which the government believes in. Nobody can question it," media quoted Kageri saying at a programme in Kolar.
He even said that those opposing the teaching of Gita should quit India.
Several secular and religious groups protested the government's circular even as the Karnataka State Minorities Educational Institutions Managements Federation filed a petition in the High Court.
The petition stated that the circular went against the Constitution and affected the religious beliefs and sentiments of the minority communities.
Pointing that it was contrary to the rights guaranteed to minority institutions, the petition suggested that if Gita was allowed in schools then Quran and Bible must also find a place.
Ever since the BJP-led government came to power in Karnataka, the state has seen a rise in violations against minorities, including restrictions on religious freedom.