CHENNAI: Even as political parties are engaged in a fiery discussion on the suggestion of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that Bhagavad Gita should be declared as the National Scripture, a basic question has arisen as to whether the Central government has the right to declare any literature as the National Scripture.
Writer and VCK general secretary T Ravikumar says: “The National Flag and National Symbol have been decided by the Constitution and were announced on the Republic Day on 1950. The National Anthem was recognised by the Constituent Assembly. As such, the Centre has no powers to declare Bhagavad Gita or any other literature as National Scripture. Though Tirukkural and the Constitution of India are irreligious in their content, we have to think whether they could be described as ‘holy texts’, which is above criticism.”
MDMK general secretary Vaiko said Tirukkural is the only literature that could be declared as the National Scripture. However, Hindu Munnani leader Rama Gopalan welcomed the move to make Bhagavad Gita as the National Scripture. In this connection, he recalled that Mahatma Gandhi, Balagangadar Tilak and Vinoba Bhave spoke reverentially about Gita. Former Chief Minister of Kerala EMS Namboodiripad, when he visited the Pope at Vatican, had presented a Bhagavad Gita to the religious leader.