Syllabus change: Archbishop upset over removal of Jesus, Mohammed

Archbishop Peter Machado on July 29 condemned the Karnataka government’s removal of chapters on Jesus and Prophet Mohammed among other topics from the school syllabus of the southern Indian state.

Aug 01, 2020

BENGALURU: Archbishop Peter Machado on July 29 condemned the Karnataka government’s removal of chapters on Jesus and Prophet Mohammed among other topics from the school syllabus of the southern Indian state.

In a major policy decision by the coalition government led by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party also removed chapters on legendary leaders of the state such as Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali.

The government has clarified the move was to lessen the burden on students by nearly 30 percent. The government has also announced that it would also remove chapters on freedom fighters to help students in the ongoing pandemic.

Archbishop Machado was among religious leaders, academicians and political leaders to decry the government decision

The government decision “looks like it is part of pre-fabricated agenda” not to teach children the religious tenets of Islam and Christianity and the contribution of the two religions to Indian society.

The prelate termed as sad that the government move deprives the school children to learn and absorb religious values so that they can become ambassadors of communal harmony and coexistence of people of various religions.

The government move violates the spirit of the Indian Constitution’s secular values. “It is not a good sign,” the prelate asserted.

The archbishop, who heads the Catholic Church in Karnataka, urged the state government to remove “other not so important content,” but retain chapters on religion.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Saleem Ahmed too condemned the government decision, which he said was unacceptable.

“The government is trying to use it as a cover up as it is unable to tackle its failures on all fronts, particularly the Coronavirus pandemic,” Ahmed alleged. He said his party would fight the move by uniting all opposition parties.

The Karnataka government had earlier formed a three-member committee to review the syllabus.

The government, however, clarified that it would not bring any change in the present academic year in view of the pandemic.

“The move is temporary,” says a letter issued later in the day by the Acting Director of the Karnataka Syllabus Association under the Department of Education.–– Matters India

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