CHANDIGARH: THE Haryana government’s plan to introduce recitation of Gayatri Mantra during morning prayers in government schools in the state has sparked a political war of words.Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar took strong exception to remarks made by the Opposition on the matter, saying that the three Rs — reading, writing and arithmetic —- might be vital but are not enough. Moral values too must be instilled in children to help them grow up as responsible citizens and become assets to society.
He said the Opposition was in the habit of criticizing every decision of the government. Instilling moral values in children is necessary to make them understand what is right and what is wrong, what is just and what is unjust, Khattar said. He also underlined the role of moral values in curbing criminal tendencies in individuals.
Besides the introduction of new courses, biographies of those who sacrificed their lives for the country should also be taught to children so that they could draw inspiration from their lives, the chief minister said. The Gita, Panchatantra and ancient short stories were rich sources of knowledge and wisdom, he added.
Kiran Choudhry, leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party, had said earlier in the day that the Khattar government should practise before preaching and learn from the Gita the lesson of doing one’s work selflessly before giving sermons to school students, and slammed the government for total failure on all fronts.
She said the move was meant to divert people’s attention from the inertness and inaction of the BJP government on issues that concern the people of the state, especially farmers. The government has little to show by way of performance on any front and people were fed up, she remarked.
“Farmers continue to reel from agrarian distress, the employees are up in arms, traders are restive, women and girls are feeling insecure due to frequent incidents of rape and murder, and the man in the street is suffering due to the poor law and order situation and rampant corruption. All this while the BJP government keeps looking the other way...,” Choudhry said.