At the tender age of 12, Maryam, a Std VI student of Cosmopolitan High School on Mira Road, has already read the Bible, is attending lectures on the Quran and has now finished studying a translated version of the Gita.

“What saddens me is that while all the holy books talk about humanity and the virtue of giving one’s life for another human being, many people in our society misunderstand the teachings,” said Maryam.

Participation in the 'Gita Champions League' was optional and open to students from the secondary sections of all city schools. What’s surprising is that, at Maryam’s school, the Bhagwad Gita, distributed by ISKCON, had been taught for barely a couple of weeks before the students were asked to appear for the test held in January this year.

Maryam, who has keen interest in finding out more about the Hindu religion, chose to go through the entire book on her own and tried understanding the shlokas and the moral of the stories explained in each chapter.

“One of my favourite chapters was the one with the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjun, just before the war. Shri Krishna explains to Arjun, why even though the war was with their enemies, he chose not to hurt them. No religion teaches us to hurt one another,” added Maryam.

“I have always taught my children not to differentiate between religions. In the end, God is the same and even though my children attend classes to understand the Quran, they have been taught to take equal interest in other books and religions,” said Maryam’s father Asif Siddiqui, who works as an editor with a Hindi magazine called Vartaman Media.

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