Gujarat’s Education Department’s notification instructing schools to organise ‘Bharat Mata Pujan’ and lectures from August 1 is opposed by the Gujarat Rajya Prathmik Shikshak Sangh (GRPSS) and Jamiat Ulama Gujarat as both are against politicizing education. Jamiat has demanded that it should not be mandatory.
Joint Director of Education Department, in a notification dated July 25, 2022, has directed all district Education Officers to ensure that Bharat Mata Pujan is organised in schools after prayer.
The notification states: “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.”
“The notification was opposed by GRPPS also,” said Digvijaysinh Jadeja, president of GRPSS. He strongly believes that education should not be politicized and that “this is an attempt to give space to RSM to expand its wings in schools. RSM is promoted by Sangh,” alleged Jadeja.
Jadeja also said: “When we opposed the notification, the Education Minister requested to extend support for nationalism.”
Jamiat Ulama Gujarat General Secretary Nisar Ahmed Ansari, in a letter addressed to Joint Director (Education), has opposed the notification stating: “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 on one organisation’s request, no other organization or stakeholders were taken into confidence. Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh does represent all sections of the society.”
The letter further states: “In Islam, worship of idol is banned, Muslim believers can’t do idol worship. The said notification is also in violation of the Indian Constitution that give rights to practice the religion one believes in. Nowhere in the Constitution, there is any mention of carrying out worship of Bharat Mata. Our prayer is to withdraw the notification.”