Karnataka’s Minister for School Education and Literacy B.C. Nagesh directed the Department of Public Instruction to make 10 minutes of “dhyana” (meditation) for students in all schools and pre-university colleges across the State compulsory.
“It is necessary to make students meditate every day to reduce physical and mental stress, and help them improve concentration and health,” Mr. Nagesh said in the circular, adding that meditation was already being practised in some schools and there were suggestions to institute meditation in schools across the State.
Amaresh Kadagada, President, Students Federation of India, came down heavily on the Minister’s direction and said, “This government has been trying to saffronise school education by introducing Bhagavad Gita, ‘Vedic’ mathematics and we fear that in the garb of meditation, this too will be used to introduce religious elements. They should concentrate on providing better and equitable education rather than push the party’s agenda,” he said.
However, Mr. Nagesh refuted that meditation was not a religious practice. “Children have lost focus, concentration in the post-pandemic period. They have also got used to mobile phones. To rectify this situation, many have suggested we introduce meditation for children. Just because some people oppose it, why should we let go of a good initiative?” he asked.