No need to include content from Gita: Kamal Haasan has a problem with Mahatma Gandhi's 'spiritual dictionary'
Photo by PTI

Kamal Haasan, actor-turned-politician, speaks out against the inclusion of Bhagwad Gita in the syllabus at Anna university. Gandhi, whose Jayanti we celebrated recently, often called the Gita his 'spiritual dictionary'.

Haasan pressed on secularism and religious freedom saying, "Students are always ready to read good books. There is no need to include the content as syllabus [from Gita]. People can't dictate religion,".

Haasan advocated that students should get the freedom to decide whether they want to become "religious preachers or religious propagandists". He added, "Let students read the related study material of their course. After they complete their studies, let them take a decision on what they want to become. It should not be part of their syllabus,"

Anna University has introduced Philosophy as a subject as part of the third-semester course for B Tech and M Tech students. The students are asked to read the Upanishads, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Vedas, Plato, and Francis Bacon. The new addition to the syllabus is supposed to help the students gain a new philosophical perspective through a comparative study of Indian and Western traditions.

The political party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had staged a protest to show its discontent with the university’s decision of imposing Sanskrit on its students. MK Stalin, DMK president, had already raised concerns about the inclusion of Bhagwad Gita in the curriculum.

However, the Vice-Chancellor, MK Surappa told ANI, "We are ensuring the entire state that philosophy is not compulsory for every student. So, people need not worry about it. We will amend the compulsory rule soon,"

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