NEW DELHI: How should the Independence Day be celebrated in schools? The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and West Bengal government are at loggerheads on the style of celebrations on Tuesday to mark the 70th Independence Day.
The HRD ministry had in July written to all states on holding certain events on Independence Day like administering of the prime minister’s Sankalp Siddhi oath and commemorating the martrys of the freedom struggle so that there is a festive and patriotic mood across the nation and a campaign is created to involve every citizen of the country in the mission of realising the vision of a new India.
However, the West Bengal government, in a directive issued Friday, has instructed its schools to stop all preparations for the Independence Day celebrations in accordance with the Centre’s letter. “It has been decided by the School Education Department that Independence Day 2017 will not be celebrated in this manner,” said the August 11 letter sent to all district project officers of the Sarva Shiksha Mission-West Bengal. The state government asked all schools to carry on with their usual mode of celebrating the occasion like every year.
The MHRD had issued a list of events to be conducted by educational institutions including quiz competitions on the freedom struggle, pledges, painting competitions and visiting any martyr’s memorial between August 9 and August 30.
Calling it unfortunate, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said that the directive was not binding on any states but language used by the West Bengal government in the memo issued to the educational institutions is strange. “We have proposed a secular agenda to all states to observe our Independence Day and there was nothing political about it,” Javadekar told the media.
West Bengal and the Central governments has been involved in a blame game on various issues with the former saying that the Centre is trying to impinge on its rights.