Astrology as subject: `Bid to saffronise curriculum'

By M.B. Maramkal

MYSORE: The controversy over the introduction of astrology as a subject in the Universities by the Union human resource ministry has now reached Mysore. Writers, social activists and members of various progressive organisations aired their resentment against the government's decision and have decided to fight it tooth and nail.

At a meeting here on Friday, these thinkers took strong exception to the move and termed it "an attempt by the BJP-led NDA government to saffronise the curriculum."

The speakers at the meeting and signatories to the statement issued by the Federation of Progressive Organisations included noted Kannada writer Devanuru Mahadeva, Lingadevaru Halemane, K Ramdas, Prabhushanker, Arvind Malgatti, M B Jayshanker of Dr Ambedker Research Centre, Mysore University, and K S Bhagwan.

"The attempt to introduce astrology, vastushastra and karmashastra (study of rituals) in the universities is an attempt by the HRD ministry to destroy the scientific temper being developed in children in schools and colleges and is violative of all educational norms which are based on strong scientific tenets. It is an insult to the scientific norms of the universities,'' they felt.

"It is highly condemnable that the HRD ministry has announced special grants in its bid to lure the universities and this act of the UGC is not in line with the Constitution," they argued. This would lower the dignity of the universities which have been considered as the seats of higher learning based on scientific lines.

"The subjects like astrology and vastushastra neither have any scientific theory nor guidelines to prove their existence nor can they practically substantiate their scientific background," they resented adding both the subjects are superstitious in nature and existence.

The members said introduction of these subjects and offering them as a course to the students will indicate the scientific bankruptcy of the universities and it is violative of the Constitution which supports strengthening of scientific temperament and logical thinking among the people.

They urged the state government to direct the universities against such move especially Kuvempu University which is planning to introduce astrology from this academic year.

Describing Kuvempu University authorities' decision in this regard as an insult to Dr K V Puttappa (Kuvempu) after whom the university has been named, they said the poet preached rationalism and scientific approach in life.

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 21, 2001
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