In meeting during the first week of July, Uttarakhand government’s school education department has decided that it will direct all government schools in the state to make students chant the “bhojan mantra” before eating mid-day meals.
They have also allegedly decided that the mantra will also be have to written on the walls of the kitchens in these schools.
The Indian Express quoted Director of School Education, RK Kunwar, as saying, “We are planning to send out instructions for it to the concerned offices. However, chanting the mantra or painting it on the kitchen walls won’t be compulsory. It will be left to the discretion of the school authorities and the students.”
Kunwar said that schools will be directed to take several other measures too.
The Indian Express report said that schools will also be asked to include yoga, lectures on great Indian leaders as part of the curriculum and begin the day with the Gayatri Mantra or Saraswati Vandana.
This comes close on the heels of the Rajasthan government announcing last month that students will have to attend ‘bal sabhas’ every Saturday where students will be lectured on Indian culture.
The department of education in Rajasthan had said that schools will have to hold these sabhas every Saturday. They had said that on the first Saturday of the month students would be taught biographies of ‘mahatmas’, on the second Saturday they would be told stories on moral values, on the third Saturday they would be given lectures by saints.