The Jammu and Kashmir government had ordered schools, colleges and public libraries in the state to ensure that Urdu versions of religious scriptures like the Gita and the Ramayana were available in its stock.
“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.”
Since then, after much outrage from the usual suspects, the government has withdrawn its order. “Circular issued by the education department regarding the introduction of some religious books stands withdrawn ab initio under the orders of the chief secretary,” Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has come out and supported the withdrawal of the order directing Hindu religious scriptures to be made available in the state.
#BREAKING — Kashmir is one place in India where there has been no communalism. If the government of India introduced a religious book in education and then realised their mistake and revoked it then it’s good: @ghulamnazad on Geeta controversy pic.twitter.com/c1vdYyrrWh
— News18 (@CNNnews18) October 23, 2018
It is unclear what Azad means when he says that Kashmir has never witnessed any communalism. The facts of the Kashmiri Pandit genocide are quite well known. At present, Kashmir is a hotbed of radical Islamic terrorism with even flags of the dreaded terrorist outfit ISIS making their presence felt in the state.
More bewilderingly, the outrage against the availability of Hindu religious scriptures in public libraries is itself intrinsically communal in nature. But according to Azad, it appears Islamic intolerance towards Hinduism is not communal in nature.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been trying desperately to shed his party’s anti-Hindu image. But evidently, senior leaders from his party are making it quite difficult for him. Denial of the Kashmiri Pandit genocide and ignoring the rampant Islamic terrorism in Kashmir by Azad is only the latest evidence that a leopard doesn’t change his spots.