Congress leader Sam Pitroda has voiced against the reopening of historic Mohandas Gandhi Vidyalaya, the school where Mahatma Gandhi studied. On Saturday the senior Congress leader expressed concern over this and said that the Congress party should include it in the poll manifesto and make it the best in the world which teaches Gandhian philosophy. “Before coming here, I visited Alfred School, the alma mater of Gandhiji. I saw the building and felt sad that the school is being closed down. According to me, this school should be the best school in Gujarat. I have heard that they are thinking of converting it into a museum, I don’t know the details. But were I to have my way, I would tell them to keep that school of Gandhiji and upgrade it to the level that it attracts people from all over the world,” Sam Pitroda was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
Gandhi Vidyalaya was shut down by the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in September 2016. The students of the school were transferred to another government school named Karansinhji High School. As per reports in Indian Express, the final nail in the coffin was hammered in April this year when the government started final process of winding up the school and the principal was ordered to complete the formalities by end of May. On the other hand, the government justified that the action was taken by the government after Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) had sent a proposal to the state government proposing to convert the school into a Gandhi museum. The state government also said that the number of students in the school was very low and they were also scoring poorly in the board examination.
“The school was established in 1875. You just imagine. It will shortly complete 150 years. And we are closing down that school. Don’t we have the capacity to revive that school? Why are we converting it into a museum? Such questions are popping up in my mind. We shall come to know later on what is good and what is not good. I don’t know the details. But I felt bad that this great school has been closed down,” Sam Pitroda added.
After the government had ordered the closing of the school there were protests held by the alumni of the same school but their voices and efforts fell on deaf ears.