Sushma on the Gita


The >demand by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to declare the Bhagawad Gita a national scripture (Dec. 8) reminds me of a reference in an article by Suresh Dwadashiwar in the Marathi weekly, Saptahik Sadhana. When JFK, a Roman Catholic, stood for Presidency, he was asked whether he would govern as per the command of the Constitution or the Pope’s diktat. JFK replied that he would abide by the Constitution, even if the command of the Constitution was contrary to the Pope’s command.

K.B. Dessai,

Margao, Goa

First, the concept of “a national book” is ambiguous. Second, it is pernicious to our secular spirit. The Minister should not forget that the Gita might be a holy scripture for Hindus but for people from other religions it is uncomfortable to accept it as a “national scripture”. As a secular country the government should respect the feelings and sentiments of other religions, too. There is no doubt that the Gita is steeped in high philosophical values, but every other religion in India can lay claim to have such a work.

Buddhadev Nandi,

Bishnupur, West Bengal

The RSS-backed BJP government and a responsible Union Cabinet Minister should not court controversy. From Ms. Swaraj’s observation, the Gita has all the basic philosophical answers to questions in human life. But how can anyone say that it is the only such work of its kind without researching other holy books? According to the Constitution, one can follow his or her own religion. Ms. Swaraj needs to respect this right.

R. Subbuvenkatraman,

Puliyangudi, Tamil Nadu

What do we expect next? That the Gita be made a mandatory text book in educational institutions? Nobody is stopping politicians from reading the Gita or the Koran or the Bible. Citizens have the right to choose what they want.

G. Padmanabhan,


It is not for the government to engage in such matters in a secular state. There appears to be a concerted move to make the minorities uncomfortable. What else is in store from a government that has a brute majority in Parliament?

Matthew Adukanil,


While accepting the greatness of the Gita, I feel that it does not qualify as a “national scripture” in a secular democracy. If we want an ancient scripture to tell the world about our antiquity and original wisdom, we must do it through the Thirukkural. It is secular and it is older than the Gita. Above all, it appears to have inspired the Gita in all its aspects.

H.V. Visweswaran,


The Bhagawad Gita should not be considered as a symbol of one religion. It is a practical philosophy and a source of inspirational messages to “doubt-masters” the world over. It is unfortunate that one of the greatest philosophies of human relationships, social and ethical values is being misunderstood. In several schools of management of repute, lessons from the Gita are a part of the curriculum. In the name of secularism, we should not make a fuss over such good decisions.

R.R. Gandikota,


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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:16:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/sushma-on-the-gita/article6673982.ece

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