The Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered schools, colleges and public libraries to ensure that Urdu versions of religious scriptures like Gita and Ramayana be stocked in their libraries. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by advisor to Governor BB Vyas on 4 October, Greater Kashmir reported.
The government communique, which was signed by the school education department's under-secretary to government, said:
"The School Education Department, Higher Education Department, Director Colleges, Director Libraries and Culture Department will consider purchasing sufficient number of copies each of Urdu version of "Shrimad Bhagwat-Geeta" and "Koshur Ramayan" authored by Shri Sarwanand Premi for making these available in Schools/ Colleges and public libraries etc. of the State," reads an order dated October 22,2018."
The directive has triggered a controversy in the Muslim-majority state. Former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted questioning the selectiveness of the decision. "Why just the Gita and Ramayana? If religious texts are to be placed in schools, collages & government libraries (and I’m not convinced that they need/should be) then why is it being done selectively? Why are other religions being ignored?"
According to the official order, the decision to purchase religious books was taken during a meeting chaired by BB Vyas, advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik on 4 October.
The officers have been asked to initiate further process after following all codal formalities required as per rules, local media reported. Meanwhile, director colleges Zahoor Ahmad Chatt told reporters that he was not part of the meeting. "I have not received any letter," he said.
Director school education Kashmir (DSEK) GN Itoo said he, too, didn't receive the letter. "But I will check it with the department," he said.
Updated Date: Oct 23, 2018 09:01 AM