Govt withdraws order asking schools, colleges to procure religious books

Govt withdraws order asking schools, colleges to procure religious books
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Srinagar, Oct 23: After triggering a row, government has withdrawn an order directing procurement of “sufficient number of copies” of Bhagwat Geeta and Ramayan’s Urdu translation in schools, colleges and public libraries.
The order has been withdrawn on the directions by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subramaniyam.
“The Communication No: Edu/Genl/35/2013 dated: 22-10-2018 issued by the School Education Department to the Director
 School Education Kashmir/Jammu has been withdrawn ab-initio on the directions of the Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam,” a spokesman of the government said in a statement.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had questioned the selective move while netizens had also criticized the order.
“Why just the Gita & Ramayana? If religious texts are to be placed in schools, collages & government libraries (and I’m not convinced that they need/should be) then why is it being done selectively? Why are other religions being ignored?” Omar had wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Pertinently, the Jammu and Kashmir government had ordered schools, colleges and public libraries in the state to procure “sufficient number of copies” of  Bhagwat Geeta and Ramayan’s Urdu translation.
“The School Education Department, Higher Education Department, Director Colleges, Director Libraries and Culture Department will consider purchasing sufficient number of copies each of Urdu version of “Shrimad Bhagwat-Geeta” and “Koshur Ramayan” authored by Shri Sarwanand Premi for making these available in Schools/ Colleges and public libraries etc. of the State,” reads an order dated October 22,2018.
The order says the decision was taken at a meeting chaired by one of  Governor Satya Pal Malik’s advisors on October 4. (GNS)