Ever since the BJP came to power in Karnataka, the state was dragged more and more into the quagmire of corruption, controversies, attacks on minority communities, land mafia, and so on. Now comes Mr Kageri with a new religious zeal, perhaps, to cover up all the rot under the carpet of Lord Krishna.
Kageri, the minister for primary and secondary education, wants all the schools in the state to teach the Gita. The demand wouldn’t be inanely irrational if it was done by some genuinely religious person for a genuine cause.
Kageri’s demand, anyway, goes against the provisions in the Constitution of the country to provide secular education. It also goes against the intention of the Constitution to provide scientific thinking and rational temper to the country’s students. In spite of that I would have ignored Kageri’s demand had the intention been genuine to a little extent at least.
When Kageri asks the people who oppose the decision to leave the country, the malice behind his intention becomes crystal clear. He is playing the same old, obsolete and terribly worn-out strategy of dividing the people in the name of religions and gods. How long should we suffer fools and knaves like Kageri? [“Fools and knaves divide the kingdom” is a proverb in English.]
Has Kageri read the Gita, let alone study it? Among other things, it teaches the basic unity of all creatures on the earth [on the earth, not just in Karnataka or India]. Lord Krishna defines the wise man as “He who experiences the unity of life, sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.” [The Geeta, Translated by Shri Purohit Swami, Published by Faber & Faber, ed. 1969, Page 44]
Probably Kageri didn’t have the patience to read the book till there. He had, most likely, got stuck with Krishna’s exhortation to Arjuna to rise and kill. This is another major problem with quite many religious people. They read their scriptures only to justify their misdeeds. Lord Krishna has something to say about such people too. “Only the ignorant…” says Krishna to Arjuna, “extol the letter of the scriptures, saying – ‘There is nothing deeper than this.’” [Page 23-24]
There are lot of things deeper than the scriptures including the Gita. People like Kageri fail to understand that simple truth taught by Lord Krishna himself.
“The country believes in the Gita,” asserts Kageri brazenly. Which country is he speaking about? Reviewing the book Exploring the Hindu Mind written by M K V Narayan, Pushpa Surendra writes in the Frontline [July 29, 2011, p 77]: “The elite or the orthodox may have us believe that the Bhagavad Gita is the main religious text of Hindus but the author argues that the majority of Hindus are Saivite or Shakti worshippers or tribal ancestor worshippers who might not have even heard of the Gita.” Kageri has a lot to learn apart from the Gita itself, it seems.
Ignorance is the greatest evil in a leader. Kageri should educate himself on the Gita and the history of his religion as well as his country before he prescribes the curriculum of the country’s schools.