It promotes Hindu religious texts and beliefs, says Yechury

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has questioned “religious bias in a training module for government officials” and asked the Department of Personnel and Training to immediately withdraw it.

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury wrote to Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions V. Narayanasamy on Friday, protesting against what the party termed promotion of Hindu religious texts and beliefs in the Distance Learning module ‘On Values in Administration’ prepared by the department with sponsorship from a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)module.

“The module shows a shocking bias. There are disparaging remarks on Sikhism and Islam which in any case are not relevant to the subject matter — what constitutes values in administration. Neither is there any mention made of the Constitution of India, the various guarantees given under it to the Indian people and what it enjoins on the government personnel,’’ the letter said.

One unit in the module was dedicated to ‘Moral Law of Cause and Effect: The Doctrine of Karma.’ It dealt at length with ‘Nishkam Karma’ and ‘Guna Dynamics.’ At the end of the unit, a mind-stilling exercise was prescribed and packaged as self-introspection with stress on praying, as “prayer is a very powerful tool,” it said.

Further, according to Mr. Yechury, the text denigrated various political parties and identified itself with values intrinsic to erstwhile princely rulers of States. Citing Kerala, he said the text claimed that all advances in the State took place due to the enlightened rule of the former Maharaja of Travancore, and made disparaging remarks about Communists and their governments.

Communists are not alone at the receiving end.

In the same reference, the Congress is also shown in poor light despite a party-led government being in charge at the Centre.

“Fifty years of alternating governance by the Congress and Communists have contributed little to the industrial growth of Kerala, but the royal initiative to provide the best human investment — education to all — has ensured that the peripatetic Keralite would fine jobs anywhere in the world.”

The module is one of the 26 such being used by the department. It has been developed for State Administrative Training Institutes and is a part of a UNDP project on strengthening the institutes. When exactly this module was prepared is unclear and calls to the telephone numbers of the resource person mentioned on the Ministry’s website remained unanswered.