After having already unfolded plans to include life lessons of RSS founder KB Hedgewar and Jan Sangh founder Deendayal Upadhyay in the MBBS course, the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh has now announced plans to include Ramayana, Mahabharata as well as lessons on Ramsetu, the mythological bridge lord Ram used to reach Lanka, in the state engineering courses.
There is nothing wrong in it, said the state higher education minister Dr Mohan Yadav on Monday adding that anyone who wishes to learn about lord Ram’s character and his contributions of the era could learn this. We are even planning to even include Urdu in the syllabus through Ghazals, he added.
Ramcharitmanas in BA syllabus
The BJP government has also decided to teach students lessons on Ramcharitmanas and Mahabharata in higher education. ‘Ramcharit Manas Ke Vyavharik Darshan’, a course syllabus has been prepared by the Dept of Higher Education. This will be a question paper with 100 marks and BA students opting for Applied Philosophy will be studying this. However, the subject will be optional.
The course aims at developing traits like personality development, leadership skills, and humanitarian view besides making students understand the values which are required in today’s world. The course also plans to make students inspirational orators for stress management and personality development.
Commenting on the course content, Dr Yadav told News18 that the syllabus has been recommended by the board of studies under the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The board has included Ramcharitmanas as a 100 marks question paper.
Dr Yadav questioned that if Ramcharitmanas is not included in the syllabus in India, will it be taught in Pakistan or Afghanistan. “We are so proud that lord Ram was born in our land. Even Mahatma Gandhi had passed away chanting Ram Ram, so Ram is rampant in our culture. If we include lord Ram’s life lessons as an optional subject, what’s wrong with it."
The new syllabus also includes 24 other optional subjects including Urdu language and its literature which interested students can opt for. The Dept of Higher Education plans to include these courses from the new academic session.
Why not Quran, Bible, asks Congress
Meanwhile, opposition Congress isn’t impressed with the move as Bhopal Madhya MLA Arif Masood demanded that if Ramcharitmanas and Mahabharat are taught in colleges, then lessons on Quran, Bible, and Gurugranth Sahib should also be included in the syllabus. The department is also claiming that subjects are only based on Indian culture and philosophy.
There is also some historical course content for the engineering students as well. With the help of Ramsetu, the students will be taught about the engineering skills of the era that belonged to lord Ram. The engineering students need details of the cutting edge technology to hone their skills and religion is a different thing altogether, said Narendra Saluja, Congress spokesperson adding that the BJP is trying to mislead public by mixing religion into technical and higher education. “Religion could be a different subject but should not be mixed with technical knowledge,” added Saluja.
On Congress’ demand that the Quran be included in the syllabus, Dr Yadav said that the opposition party plans to compare everything with lord Ram. He is the base of our flourishing culture who acted as an ideal student, warrior, and husband.
Replying to a query about why not Bible and others were included in the course, the minister said we have included what the board has suggested.
We will also be teaching freedom fighters and historical personalities like Rani Avantibai, Rani Ahilyabai, Tantya Bhil, Chandrashekhar Azad, Raja Bhoj and others. He added that even NASA has recognized Ramsetu and Bet Dwarka as man-made structures so these things should now be a matter of pride.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for degrees that aim at the overall development of the students, added Dr Yadav.
Jabalpur university includes Karmkand, Ramcharitmanas
As the Dept of Higher Education is deliberating on the course content for the fresh academic session, Rani Durgawati University in Jabalpur has already included Ramcharitmanas in the syllabus. Besides the Dept of Sanskrit has also prepared a course on Karmkand (religious rituals) in the university. University Vice-Chancellor Prof Kapil Dev Misr said Sanskrit is the most scientific language in the world and is the most preferred language for IT by experts.
He claimed that religious rituals are based on scientific so we are trying to propagate them among the youths and also wish to link this with vocational options. The dept has also starred a course on Garbh Sanskar (pregnancy rituals). Asked to explain the reason for the inclusion of Ramcharitmanas in the syllabus, the VC said that Ramcharitmanas doesn’t belong to Hindu religion, it basically talks about humanity (Manav –Dharm). By including this, we wish to let students and society learn about the philosophy and ideals which is a contribution to the world by India.