Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday announced that he will abolish school and college holidays on birth anniversaries (jayantis) of great leaders and political icons.
“I am going to make an announcement that may not sound pleasant to many, but the tradition to declare holidays on jayantis of great leaders should end now,” declared Adityanath on the occasion of the 126th jayanti of Baba Saheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar. This day was declared a public holiday by former Chief Minister Mayawati.
Adityanath sarcastically remarked: “The way holidays in schools and colleges were announced by previous regimes, that day is not far off when educational institutes will have no days left for teaching.”
There are about 20 such holidays in Uttar Pradesh and a majority of them were declared by former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. To quote a few, Akhilesh had declared a holiday on Chowdhury Charan Singh Jayanti, Karpoori Thakur Jayanti, Guru Govind Singh Jayanti, Maharishi Parshuram Jayanati, Maharaj Agrasen Jayanti, Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti etc.
Both Mayawati and Akhilesh may make Adityanath’s decision a political issue as a majority of these holidays were declared on the jayantis of their political icons. Speaking at Ambedkar Sabha, Adityanath said that instead of declaring holidays on such occasions, schools should be open and teachers should hold two-hour special classes on the life and works of these great leaders.
The Chief Minister also announced special scholarships at all levels to Dalit students. He announced that his government has already issued directives to the Education Department to distribute books, stationery, and dresses to students in the first week of July itself. “Earlier, they used to get them in December,” he pointed.
He mentioned the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to develop all five places associated with Dr Ambedkar. He announced that his government will make 30 districts defecation-free by December 31, 2017, and construct toilets in all villages in three years.
He also mentioned that Modi has vowed to provide houses to each and every citizen by 2022. “My government is also working in this direction. We will give land to the poor and Dalits for farming and opening gaushalas,” he said.
Taking a dig at casteist politics, Adityanath said that Dr Ambedkar was always against it. “Efforts made by Dr Ambedkar for the welfare of Dalits and other lower castes are unparalleled,” he said.
The Chief Minister launched the Ujala Scheme, Kanyadaan Scheme, Samajik Samrasta bhoj and the BHIM application. Later, he signed the Power for All agreement with the Centre.