Karnataka education minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri has said that it the duty of every Indian to respect sacred Hindu text, Bhagavad Gita, else they should leave the country.
"The Bhagavad Gita is like the Sun. I think that it is the duty of every Indian to respect the Bhagvad Gita like they respect other elements surrounding them. I strongly feel that if someone does not respect it, they have no place in India. They should leave the country and settle abroad," said Kageri.
Rebuking the strong statement issued by the minister, the state opposition and chief of Janata Dal-Secular, H D Deve Gowda said India is a secular country.
"It (India) is a secular country. Kageri should read the Constitution 100 times to understand this. It is a secular country. Every religion has got it's own protection. One cannot teach these fellows; they have abruptly come to power because of the misdeeds done by Congress," said Gowda.
Earlier on July 9, Kageri issued a circular proposing that Bhagavad Gita should be taught to schoolchildren at least for an hour on a daily basis.
The circular has been challenged by the Karnataka State Minorities Educational Institutions Managements Federation, which has filed a petition in the state high court. Hindu religious books do not encourage cast system. It describes three natures of the self within us and which aspect dominates to express ones' personality. We need to be aware of this and need to make the adjustments as described in the Gita. Nowhere it says Brahmins are the keepers of our religion. Brahmin in scriptures is a metaphorical reference to the clergy, those who are educated and know the scriptures. But in reality the well educated clergy in power made it into a heritable cast system out of insecurity and to keep the knowledge to themselves and scared off others with superstitions. The same in the west the clergy were the knowledgeable ones and enjoyed privileges. However in ancient India the masses were illiterate and the cast system became too entrenched before the masses became more knowledgeable and began to question. Now we live with it not because we believe they are God appointed but we respect God and look at the priests as a delegated job. A so called Brahmin who is not a priest cannot be looked upon as a brahmin because this status is for those who have undergone the correct rituals and practise them, such as vegetarian, no vices, virtuous, no lying, no offensive action, and pure in thoughts etc. All others who do not strictly follow these are not Brahmins. If they do so they will be betraying the Gods words.