Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday termed the West Bengal government’s decision to not celebrate Independence Day according to the New India pledge suggested by the Centre, as “unfortunate” and hoped that “wisdom will prevail”.
“I am shocked at the language of the letter (issued by the West Bengal government)… It is very unfortunate that it has decided not to celebrate Independence Day ‘in this manner’, what is wrong with the manner that we suggested?” the Human Resource Development Minister asked.
No one was compelled to follow the HRD Ministry’s suggestions on the celebration of 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement and the 70th Independence Day, and that still everyone followed the instructions voluntarily, he said.
In a letter sent to all District Project Officers, the Sarva Shiksha Mission-West Bengal instructed them to stop “all preparations for the Independence Day in keeping with the circular dated July 25, 2017 of Manish Garg, Joint Secretary MHRD”.
“It has been decided by the school Education Department that Independence Day 2017 will not be celebrated in this manner,” said the letter dated August 11.
To commemorate the Independence Day and Quit India Movement anniversaries, the Ministry had issued a number of instructions to educational institutions.
The institutions were instructed to conduct: a pledging ceremony on freedom from communalism, casteism, poverty, terrorism and unhygeinic conditions; quiz competition on freedom struggle; visit to any martyr’s memorial; and painting competition, between August 9 and August 30.
“These are secular agenda, national agenda, not a political agenda…I am very happy to see everyone participating voluntarily and posting pictures on our website,” Javadekar added.