The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday rejected a petition challenging the State Government's decision to introduce the Bhagwat Gita in the public school curriculum in the State.

The High Court decision is expected to provide a shot in the arm for the BJP government in the State.

The order, passed by a Bench comprising Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Sanjay Yadav, noted that the Bhagwat Gita is not a text of Indian religion but that of Indian philosophy.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had announced last November the inclusion of “Gita Saar” (essence of the Gita) in the curriculum for public schools across the State.

The decision had attracted a lot of flak from religious groups, educationists as well as the opposition Congress, all of whom argued that they were not against any particular religious text and the government would do well to include lessons from other religious texts as well.

A public interest petition seeking inclusion of teachings/summaries of other religions was filed against the decision by the Catholic Bishop Council and the Harmony Foundation. “We are disappointed and will appeal to the Supreme Court,” Father Anand Muttungal of the Harmony Foundation told The Hindu on Friday.

The petition had also raised objections to performance of Hindu religious rituals like Bhoomi Pujan during public foundation laying ceremonies and naming of public welfare schemes along religious lines like the Ladli Lakshmi Yojana.

  • Decision to introduce ‘Gita Saar' had drawn flak from religious bodies, educationists

  • ‘Disappointed by the judgment; will appeal to the Supreme Court'