PATNA: Bihar education department has courted controversy after it scrapped holidays for festivals like Rakshabandhan and Janmashtami and curtailed holidays for Diwali, Chhath and Durga Puja but instead increased number of holidays for Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha (Bakrid).
In an unprecedented move, the education department's annual calendar for Standard I to Standard XII. Earlier, the district administration was responsible for declaring holidays for election schools while the secondary school directorate was authorised to declare holidays for secondary and higher secondary schools.
As per the order issued by the education department, there will be summer vacation for school students from April 15 to May 15. During the summer vacation, teachers and non-teaching staff will be attending their duties at schools like other days. District Magistrates can declare holidays in special circumstances but they have to take prior permission in front of the headquarters as holidays cannot be declared at the Principal level.
While it will be a day's holiday and a three-day holiday for Diwali and Chhath respectively, there will be holidays for two days in Holi and for three days during Durga Puja. The education department has also scrapped holidays for Teej, Jitiya, Janmashtami and Mahashivratri.
Meanwhile, former deputy chief minister and BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi slammed the Bihar education department, alleging it was a "Tughlaqui and anti-Hindu." He further went on to say that the decision had hurt Hindu sentiments. He also said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wanted to secure Hindu votes by dividing them on the caste lines along with Muslim votes by increasing the number of holidays for their festivals, and contended that BJP would not succeed in its game plan.
He claimed that it also reflected CM's anti-Hindu mindset, demanding that the decision to scrap or reduce the number of holidays for Hindu festivals should be immediately rolled back.