MP High Court rejects PIL by Catholic Bishop Council against Bhagwad Geeta in schools
The petition filed by Catholic Bishop’s Council against introduction of Geetasaar (Essence of Bhagwad Geeta) in school curriculum, was dismissed by Madhya Pradesh High Court on February 3. The petition was filed in August 2011 by Catholic Bishop Council spokesman Father Anand Muttungal.
The Court upheld the fact that Bhagwad Geeta contained no religious teachings, but contained only the philosophy of life. Earlier, the court had given the petitioner’s counsel a time limit of two months to study the holy text in entirety and then come to any decision. According to Additional Advocate General Prashant Singh, the Division Bench comprising of Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Sanjay Yadav asked the petitioner a few questions. Not satisfied with the answers given, the court declared that the Bhagwad Geeta was an Indian philosophy and not a religious text. The petition was dismissed thereafter.
Without directly opposing the teaching of Bhagwad Geeta, the petition said that the State government of Madhya Pradesh should include an outline teaching of all religions, without focusing on one particular religion alone. The petitioner stated that the council was to take a resolution on challenging the court order after they read the complete order.
Another matter cited in the PIL was the names used by the State government of Madhya Pradesh for their various schemes. According to the petitioner, names like Ladli Laxmi, Balram Tal, Kapil Dhara, etc and practices like ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ at government functions promoted a single religion. The names, which were drawn from Hindu mythology, did not convey a secular image. This matter too was rejected by the court.(FOC)