BJP accuses Bihar govt of cutting school holidays on Hindu festivals
BJP leaders said that holidays on Hindu religious festivals have decreased while Muslim holidays have been increased in the Bihar education department’s new calendar
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the Bihar government of cutting school holidays on important Hindu festivals after the state’s education department issued a new calendar on Monday.
This is the second time in the last three months the department has triggered a row over this.
BJP leaders said that holidays on Hindu religious festivals have decreased while Muslim holidays have been increased.
Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi said, “It is a deliberate attempt to hurt Hindu sentiments and it is not the first time it has happened.”
“They think they can get Hindu votes by dividing them into castes and win over Muslims by declaring Friday weekly holiday in Muslim-dominated areas. Bihar is a secular state, and the people will never accept such things. Will they announce separate holiday for Christian schools? There should be uniformity in the holiday calendar. BJP will never accept it, and demand its immediate withdrawal,” he added.
The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) on Tuesday said the calendar was prepared to conform to the Right to Education (RTE) guidelines to ensure minimum 220 teaching days in Schools.
“If there is any discrepancy, the education department will look into it. What is important is to see the new calendar through the prism of RTE, not religion. The department has issued two letters regarding school holiday calendar. One is for government schools from Class 1-12 and the other is for the minority aided schools. Misinformation is being spread that there is no holiday for Vasant Panchami and other festivals. The fact is it is there, as is for Mahashivratri, Janaki Navmi, Bidh Purnima, Kabir Jayanti, Krishna Janmashtmi, etc. for Muslims, some holidays have been increased and some decreased,” the ruling party said.
The education department had to withdraw its August 29 orders after the intervention of chief minister Nitish Kumar following uproar over the decision to cut down school holidays and open the school on Raksha Bandhan.
Later, a teachers’ training programme was cancelled after it evoked sharp reactions from teachers as well as the BJP and other parties due to its timing during the Navratri festival.