In a fresh confrontation with the Central Government, the West Bengal Government has asked all schools and other educational institutions in the ‘necessary’ directive to stop preparations for Independence Day in the format prescribed by the Central Human Resource Development Ministry.
The Central Human Resource Development Ministry had issued a circular asking all the schools to celebrate the resolution program visiting the martyr’s monuments present around the schools from 9th August to 30th August. Under this program, children had to be given information about martyrs of independence or martyrdom in war or terrorist attacks. Apart from this, schools were also asked to organize an oath taking ceremony in which teachers and students were asked to take oath to eliminate five problems of poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism and casteism by the year 2022.
This reaction of the Mamata Banerjee Government on the concerned circular of the Union Human Resource Development Ministry has come in the form of an instruction which has been sent to the project in-charge of all the districts of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan of the state. In a way tactfully counter attacking the circulars issued by the central human resource development ministry, the West Bengal Government in its directions issued said that “The School Education Department has decided that Independence Day 2017 will not be celebrated in the way told by the central department.” The circular issued by the state government said that the schools and colleges will celebrate the 70th Independence like celebrated every year and they need not follow the circulars issued by the Central department.
State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said that the people of West Bengal do not need to learn lessons on patriotism from the BJP. He said that the ruling party at the centre has no right to instruct the people for how they should celebrate the independence day. Chatterjee added that “It is not that we are opposing the Center’s proposal. But we are just saying that we will celebrate the festival the way we like and according to the circulars issued by the Centre. We will not read the lessons of patriotism from BJP. The ruling party at the center has no right to direct others to patriotism.” He further debated that the instruction of recording the celebrations of Independence Day is not practically possible as there are around more than 2 lakh schools in the state, hence the order will not be followed.
He said that the Trinamool government has not issued any circular and neither does the state needs any circular from the centre instructing them how to celebrate the Independence Day. The way the festival is celebrated from past 69 years, it will be celebrated in the same way 70th year also, Chatterjee added.