MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to include Thirukkural as a compulsory separate subject in school syllabus from the next academic year.
Though the students were already learning about 275 couplets of the epic, the court mentioned that mere ‘memorising and writing’ of the couplets in the sake of examinations was insufficient. According to petitioner S Rajarathinam, a retired government employee, the crimes against women, children have increased to unimaginable extent. Also, matrimonial disputes have increased considerably depicting once again the intolerant, dishonest and inhuman lifestyles.
Under such circumstances, the court should direct the government to modify the school syllabus for Class VI to XII, so as to ensure that the students acquainted and learnt thoroughly all the 1,330 couplets of Thirukkural, he prayed.
The Special Government Pleader (SGP) appearing for the government contended that in pursuance of the Tamil Learning Act, 2006, Tamil language was made a compulsory subject. The syllabus was framed by the experts in the Education Department after considering the socio-economic and cultural values of Thirukkural and about 275 selected couplets were included at suitable places so as to not overburden the students. Even, several competitions were held to propagate it.
Moreover, there is no duty on the state to accede to the request made by the petitioner and hence under the above circumstances, the writ petition should be dismissed, he added.
After hearing the arguments, Justice R Mahadevan said it was contended by the SGP that the policy decisions cannot be the subject matter of a writ petition. But the offences in the society have been increased manifold. It affected the people’s fundamental rights, which should be preserved. Though the court cannot directly enforce the fundamental rights directing the state to enact the law in a particular way, it can interfere when the same rights would be affected.
No other literary work than Thirukkural can teach the moral values, so the government should include all Adhigarams of two sections in the curriculum of students, the judge said.