In what ought to be described as a major Hindutva push, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar had announced that Gita lessons will be introduced in Haryana’s academic curriculum to teach good values to children. The Haryana Chief Minister said, “We are of the opinion that shlokas from Gita should be included in school syllabus. We have said this before as well. We will add some shlokas of Gita as a summary in the curriculum so that children learn good values.”
Haryana CM, Khattar made this announcement after attending a ‘Gita Mahotsav Programme’ at the National Capital. He said that Gita is the “essence of life”, and is not related to any particular religion. Therefore, the Haryana government is looking to push the cultural heritage of the state by promoting the Bhagavad Gita, which was revealed by Bhagwan Krishan to Arjun in the historic city of Kurukshetra situated in the state of Haryana.
Speaking during the ‘Gita Mahotsav Programme’ at New Delhi, he also announced the plans of his government to develop Kurukshetra into a holy magnificent city at international level. He also said that pilgrimage sites related to Mahabharat located in the ancient city are also being developed in a grand manner. Apart from that, the Haryana government is also going to renovate the religious sites located at the origin and flow of the Saraswati river in the city of Kurukshetra.
He unveiled another plan of the Haryana government to promote the legacy of the city concerning the revelation of Bhagavad Gita. He said that a research centre is also being set up in the holy city by Global Inspiration and Enlightenment Organization of Bhagwad Gita (GIEO and GITA), New Delhi. Facilities are also being expanded in the city in order to accomodate the increasing number of devotees who visit the city on the occasion of solar eclipse and other important days with religious connotation.
It is clear that Kurukshetra is one of the most important spiritual or cultural sites in India given that the Bhagavad Gita was revealed there. It is as important as say, Mathura or Vrindavan. With its antiquity and the immense popularity of Bhagavad Gita, Kurukshetra has huge potential to attract tourists and Lord Krishna devotees from around the world. However, the past governments have not really worked towards realising the true potential of the city. Though it is as important as other major pilgrimage sites, Kurukshetra never got as much important as say, Kashi or Mathura. Finally, the present Haryana CM seems to be taking steps towards correcting the errors of ignorance made in the past, and giving Kurukshetra the kind of importance and attention that it really deserves.
Khattar 2.0 is clearly more focussed on Hindutva than Khattar 1.0, which was more about proving Khattar to be an able administrator and establishing him as the man taking Haryana on the path of brisk development and social reforms.
However, after coming back into power, he is promoting what is easily the most important cultural legacy of Haryana- the revelation of Bhagavad Gita in Kurukshetra. Though it might not go down well with the left-liberals, Khattar has really taken a historic step by introducing the epic in the curriculum of Haryana schools. It is only reasonable that the Haryana kids learn good values through Gita which is today being seen as one of the most important teachings around the world. Moreover, his plans to develop Kurukshetra into a major pilgrimage attraction is a praiseworthy step which will put the historic city in the league of leading cities when it comes to attracting religious tourism. Khattar is thus making up for the monumental ignorance of the previous regimes by promoting Bhagavad Gita which captures the object and the essence of human life. This will perhaps be the greatest service that Khattar could have done to the cause of Hindutva.