Independence Day celebrations: Centre asks states to create ‘patriotic mood’ in schools to realise PM Modi’s ‘New India’ vision, West Bengal says no

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In an attempt to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘s ‘New India’ vision, the Centre has directed all the states to organise events in schools that can help in creating a ‘patriotic mood’ and ‘mass fervour’ in the country. However, Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal has instructed its schools to refrain from following the Centre’s circular.

Terming the decision of the Mamta Banerjee led government as “unfortunate”, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar shared a copy of the memo issued by State Project Director of the West Bengal Sarva Shiksha Mission, which says that the school education department has decided that Independence Day will not be celebrated in line with the Centre’s direction. Javadekar added, “The language used in the West Bengal government’s memo is strange and unfortunate. I will talk to them. What we have proposed is a secular agenda, not a political party agenda.”

Javadekar also added that the instructions, such as administering of the prime minister’s Sankalp Siddhi oath or commemorating the martyrs of freedom struggle or “various wars/terrorist actions”, are not binding on the schools and were part of a “secular agenda”.

Maneesh Garg, Joint Secretary, MHRD, in a letter to the states wrote, “It is desirable that this momentous occasion should be celebrated with an objective to create a festive and patriotic mood across the nation and a movement is created to involve every citizen of this country in the mission of realising the vision of a new India, which is clean and free from poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism and casteism.”

He also added that, apart from administering oath, schools, including those affiliated to the CBSE, may be asked to organise quiz competitions on the struggle for Independence and the country’s development and painting competitions on the same theme. The questions for the quiz can be downloaded from the Narendra Modi App or the government’s official portal.

In the letter, he also requested the states to publicist the events that are held between August 9 and 30, to help create a mass fervour in favor of the mission.

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