Published: 01st August 2022
Bharat Mata Pujan in schools will 'generate patriotism', says Gujarat's Education Department
The notification directed schools to conduct compulsory pujans from August 1. The Gujarat Rajya Prathmik Shikshak Sangh and Jamiat Ulama Gujarat have demanded the withdrawal of the order
The Gujarat Education Department's direction to schools to organise 'Bharat Mata Pujan' and lectures from August 1 is being contested by the Gujarat Rajya Prathmik Shikshak Sangh (GRPSS) and Jamiat Ulama Gujarat (JUG). The two groups are protesting the "politicising" of education and the Jamiat has demanded that the pujans not be made mandatory. It was on July 25 that the Joint Director of the Education Department issued a notification directing all district Education Officers to ensure that Bharat Mata Pujan is organised in schools after the prayer, reported IANS
"On the request letter of the Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh (RSM), as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Bharat Mata Pujan and a lecture should be organised in every school. Such programmes will generate patriotism," reads the notice. Digvijaysinh Jadeja, President of GRPSS, who opposed the notification, told IANS, "This is an attempt to give space to RSM to expand its wings in schools. RSM is promoted by the Sangh. When we opposed the notification, the Education Minister requested to extend support for nationalism."
In a letter addressed to the Joint Director (Education), Jamiat Ulama Gujarat General Secretary Nisar Ahmed Ansari told IANS, "We warm-heartedly will join cultural programmes organised to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, but we are against the Bharat Mata Pujan. The said notification is issued at one organisation's request, no other organisation or stakeholders were taken into confidence. Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh does not represent all sections of society."
The letter goes on to add that idol worship is banned in Islam and the order to conduct compulsory Bharat Mata Pujan was a violation of the Indian Constitution, which grants people the right to practice the religion one believes in. Both groups have demanded that the notification be withdrawn immediately.