A post is being widely shared on social media claiming that Bhagavad Gita classes were made compulsory for Dutch students from grade 5. The post also displays an image of two young girls holding the Bhagavad Gita. Let us fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Bhagavad Gita classes were made compulsory for Dutch students.
Fact: Bhagavad Gita classes were not made compulsory for Dutch Students. There is no mention of Bhagavad Gita in the list of compulsory subjects to be taught in Primary schools in Netherlands. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When reverse image search is done on the image in the post, the same image was found published on 20 September 2013 on the website ‘ISKCON Desire Tree’. Several other images of children with Bhagavad Gita were also found on the website, with the title ‘Beautiful little Vaisnava!!!!’ There is no mention of the Netherlands making Bhagavad Gita compulsory for its students. The same image had been circulating in social media since 2014.
We searched in the government of Netherlands website to look for compulsory subjects being taught to Primary school students. There was no mention of Bhagavad Gita in this list of compulsory subjects to be taught in Primary schools in the Netherlands.
A private member’s bill was moved by BJP Member of Parliament Ramesh Bidhuri to make the Bhagavad Gita reading compulsory in schools in 2017. News articles about the bill can be seen here. The Compulsory Teaching of Bhagavad Gita as a Moral Education Text Book in Educational Institutions Bill, 2019 is being introduced in the ongoing parliament session by Ramesh Bidhuri.
To sum it up, Bhagavad Gita classes were not made compulsory for Dutch primary school students.