By Express News Service

BHOPAL: After lectures on Hindutva icons Dr KB Hedgewar and Deendayal Upadhyaya for first-year MBBS students, now undergraduates will study Ramcharitmanas in Madhya Pradesh. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has decided to introduce ‘Applied Philosophy of Ramcharitmanas’ as an optional subject in BA First-Year syllabus in colleges and universities under the New Education Policy.

The state’s higher education minister Mohan Yadav said the subject had been introduced on the recommendation of a panel of experts who designed the syllabus in sync with the NEP 2020 and will be taught by Philosophy and Hindi teachers. The BA first-year students will also be taught ‘Preface to Mahabharata’ by C Rajgopalachari in the English Foundation Course. Yoga and Meditation too are being made part of the foundation course from the 2021-2022 academic session.

Defending the decision, Yadav said, “The Ramcharitmanas has science, culture, literature and ‘shringar’. This is not about a particular religion. We have also introduced Urdu ghazal as a subject.”Yadav said it would be wrong to see Ramcharitmanas as just a religious scripture “as it also embodies aspects of arts, science and literature”. Even the NASA had acknowledged Ram Setu was a man-made bridge built millions of years ago, which is the biggest evidence of Ramcharitmanas also comprising scientific aspects, the minister added. 

“Not everything should be seen with political/ideological glasses,” Yadav said, adding that teaching Applied Philosophy of Ramcharitmanas will also ingrain rich values in students and help in their character building.

While the BJP welcomed the move, the Congress dubbed it as another effort to further the saffron agenda. “It’s important that our students know in depth about the hidden treasures in terms of our ancient scriptures,” BJP secretary Rajneesh Agrawal said. Congress’ Narendra Saluja said. “The need of the hour is to introduce more technical education subjects.”