Chennai: Observing that moral values are more important than other values, the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to take appropriate action on inclusion of 108 chapters of Tamil treatise Thirukkural in the curriculum of class VI-XII from next academic year.
Justice R Mahadevan of the court's Madurai bench was hearing a plea filed by retired government official S Rajarathinam, who sought a direction to government to reframe the syllabus from the next academic year so as to ensure that students studied all the 1330 couplets of Thirukkural.
Special government pleader informed the court that the syllabus is determined by a committee appointed by the government.
"If Thirukkural is taught with all its avenues and dimensions elaborately, students would be equipped with all the facets of life, the probable problems and the solutions. The couplets about friendship, hard work, good character, patience, tolerance and confidence will guide them through, even the most difficult of times. Thirukkural will give them the inner strength to withstand any storm," the judge said.
The judge, who allowed the petition, said various adaptations and stories are associated with Thirukkural in the form of 'Thirukkural kathaigal'.
"Therefore, it can be taught to the students without causing burden. Moral values are more important than other values. Once, the moral values are lost, it is only a matter of time before the person falls, despite possessing all other qualities, which may earn in name, fame, power and money."
"Therefore, this court commends that appropriate action must be taken by the government through the committee which decides the syllabus, considering the noble objective and the demanding situation and finalise syllabus for next academic year by including 108 chapters/adhigarams of Thirukkural (Arathupal and Porutpal) in curriculum of students between VI to XII standard, keeping in mind that the purpose of education must be to build a nation with moral values," the judge said.
"Once a policy is framed, then it is a matter of accommodation. If there is a will, there would be a way. It will be the greatest contribution to the society and to the language itself by the government," the court said.
According to the petitioner, in recent times, moral values have declined in society and need of the day is to inculcate moral values and ethics by way of education and one way of bringing about this change is by making them follow the principles in Thirukkural, authored by great saint Thiruvalluvar.