Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Sunday said the teachings of Sant Kabir should be taught to those who raise “anti-national” slogans and programmes on the mystique poet should also be organised in the Jawaharlal Nehru University. The JNU last year witnessed protests against the 2013 hanging of the 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, which led to clashes between students’ groups. Addressing a symposium, Singh said that teachings of the 15th Century saint should be included in educational curricula of schools and universities as they are relevant in the contemporary period as well.
“Those who raise slogans of azadi-azadi (independence) and talk about disintegrating the country should be taught Sant Kabir…Misguided youth should be given the knowledge of Kabir’s thoughts. Such programmes on Kabir should also be held in JNU,” the chief minister said in an apparent reference to the last year’s row over alleged raising of controversial slogans at the JNU.
Singh was speaking at a symposium on ‘Kabir Sahitya me Samrasta aur Sanchaar’ (Harmony and Communication in Literature of Sant Kabir), jointly organised by Kushabhau Thakre University of Journalism and Mass Communication and Kabir Development and Study Centre at Raipur.
Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki presided over the function as the chief guest.
Highlighting the significance of Kabir’s teachings, Singh said they should be included in the curricula of schools and universities.
“Besides, research should also be undertaken on the literature of Kabir in colleges of Chhattisgarh as well as in the country. Sant Kabir had contributed immensely to both literary and spiritual world. He always stood by humanity and tried to unify all religions. He believed in universal brotherhood and harmony. He fought against blind faiths and superstitions,” the CM said, adding that Kabir’s thoughts are respected and followed even in the modern times.
Singh said Kabir’s poetry and literature is as relevant in the present times as it was about 500 years ago, in any context and any form.
“If entire world is to be considered as a global village then Sant Kabir would be its biggest brand ambassador,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, the Haryana governor described Sant Kabir as the “greatest global communicator”.
“Sant Kabir preached brotherhood among all religions, treated entire world as one family and humanism as a virtue. What Sant Kabir preached is still relevant in the present age,” he said.
Highlighting the role of media in transforming the society, the governor said that media and press should be ‘Lok-Kalyankari’ (pro-people) as they have a vital role in shaping public opinion.