Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani on Friday announced inclusion of books on Lord Parshuram in public libraries and a chapter on the Hindu deity in the moral science school textbooks. The announcement came hours after members of a Brahmin organisation, the Vipra Foundation, met Devnani on the occasion of Parshuram Jayanti.
“We have made efforts to include inspiring stories of Veer-Veerangana (brave men and women) of Rajasthan. So this decision is a part of this overall effort. Books on his life will be part of libraries soon,” Devnani said. “We will also add a lesson on his inspiring life in moral science textbooks. It will help students learn from the great life of Lord Parshuram,” he said.
The books will be financed from the minister’s discretionary fund. The announcement came days after Devnani had angered Brahmins by questioning their use of title Pandit after the Rajasthan high court served notices on him in response to a petition challenging his use of the title professor without the requisite qualifications. Devnani had responded by saying that several members of the Brahmin community used the Pandit title without possessing Paanditya (Brahmanical wisdom).
Some Brahmin organisations had burnt his effigies and sought his resignation. “We met him today (Friday) and since it was Parshuram Jayanti, we requested him to include books on the life of Lord Parshuram in libraries and school curriculum,” Vinod Aman of the Vipra Foundation said.
The opposition Congress accused the minister of using school curriculum to cover his own misplaced statements about the Brahmin community. “First he talks ill of the Brahmin community on a public platform. When he faces criticism, this is what he comes up with… using the government machinery and the school curriculum to fix his own wrongs,” said state Congress president Sachin Pilot.