Students in Haryana will be taught about Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee and freedom fighter Veer Savarkar under moral education, apart from texts from Gita and holy books of various religions, according to state education minister Rambilas Sharma.
Speaking to PTI on the controversial move to change syllabus of Class 6th to 12th, the minister said he has been with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), where moral education is taught for personality development and it plays a big role in students' education.
"The state education department is going to add moral education syllabus including some part of religious holy books such as Bhagvad Gita, Quran and books on Buddhism, Christianity... On freedom fighters, Syama Prashad Mookerjee, Veer Savarkar, Chandrashekhar Azad, Udham Singh, Bhagat Singh and others.
"They will be taught importance of the sun in life for personality development and moral duties so that they grow up as well-matured citizens and have a feeling of nationalism and patriotism," Sharma said.
Mookerjee and Savarkar are Hindutva mascots.
Earlier, Haryana government had faced flak from opposition parties over its proposal to introduce Gita in the curriculum after which it had said that texts from various religions will be included in the syllabus.
The opposition has been critical of BJP at the Centre and in the states, accusing it of "saffronisation" of education.
Sharma said, "We have already distributed newly drafted books in all government schools and this will be started in all government, private and public schools as a part of Haryana Education Department and Board syllabus from July 1, 2016 after the reopening of schools."
It will be officially announced on July 5 by Union Minister Smriti Irani, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Swami Gyanendra, Member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and other prominent people in a programme on 'The importance of moral education in students life" at Kurukshetra University.
Sharma said that moral education imparted by RSS played an important role in the lives of students. Similarly, the new syllabus is aimed to develop the students into good citizens.
"We have earlier handed over newly-drafted books to several government schools and teachers during this summer vacation so that they could go through the lessons from Gita and other spiritual texts which will be taught to students in government schools across Haryana as part of the new moral education curriculum," Sharma added.
Sources said that these newly drafted books and syllabus on moral education could later be introduced in other states where BJP is in power.
Sneh Lata, Director, State Council of Educational Research and Training, said for gaining insight and conceptualising the topic, Sanskrit teachers have been given the new books in advance.
The course is being reintroduced in the state after a gap of more than four years and aims at imbibing moral values in the children.
"We want to inculcate cultural and spiritual values in the students. There are a few shlokas from Bhagavad Gita.
"We have added the translations for the verses, making it easier for the students to understand Sanskrit. There are a lot of crucial life lessons which the students can learn from Gita and other religious holy books which will help in their mental growth," she said.
She said that the education department had planned to include more portions of Gita in the syllabus. But after suggestions from educationists, the portions were reduced to selected shlokas, accompanied with their meaning.
The state Education minister said that he will meet Union Education Minister tomorrow in Delhi as he is also one of the members of the Sub-Committee of Education Ministers, where he will hand over the invitation for the July 5 event.