Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa Smriti is in Town


Santa Smriti is in Town Irani's ministry to schools: Provide ...
9 hours ago - Santa Smriti is in Town Irani's ministry to schools: Provide videos of Dec 25 celebrations Anubhuti Vishnoi New Delhi, December 15, 2014 | UPDATED 09:25 IST ...

Irani's ministry to schools: Provide videos of Dec 25 celebrations

Anubhuti Vishnoi  New Delhi, December 15, 2014 | UPDATED 09:25 IST
HRD Minister Smriti IraniThe Smriti Irani-led Union Human Resource Development Ministry may have strongly denied instructing schools to celebrate Good Governance Day on Christmas - December 25 - the birthday of BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee but in a circular issued last week the ministry even sought detailed reports and video recordings from schools on the activities undertaken on the day.
While Irani's ministry on Monday claimed the whole exercise was voluntary and it did not ask schools to stay open on Christmas, in the December 9 circular issued by the ministry's School Education Department, it asked for "a detailed report on the activities undertaken along with photographs, video recording may be uploaded on your department's website and also be sent to MHRD".
The circular further suggested that a range of activities may be held during the day apart from the CBSE's Expression series - an online and offline essay contest.
Well before the the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) issued its controversial circular to its schools on the same, the Union HRD ministry shot off a circular on December 9, 2014 to bodies like the NVS asking them to celebrate Good Governance Day on December 25 and also sought detailed reports from schools.
The circular - accessed by India Today - said clearly, "It has been decided to observe 25th December which is the birth anniversary of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India, and also Shri Madan Mohan Malviya as Good Governance Day. Referring to CBSE's communication on its Expression Series on Good Governance, the circular sent out by the HRD ministry's School Education Department further 'suggested' several kind of 'celebrations during the day'.
These suggestions were to hold declamation contests on topics related to Good Governance, quiz competitions, screening of documentaries and films on best practices in Good Governance organization  and other innovative programmes on problem solving. In fact, the NVS circular on the issue literally reproduced parts of the HRD ministry communication.
With the issue leading to an uproar in parliament, the HRD ministry on Monday issued a strong denial to reports on the issue and clarified, "CBSE has not directed any school to remain open on 25th December, 2014. The proposed instructions of the CBSE are to conduct an online essay competition on 24th and 25th December 2014, which is completely voluntary." It added that since Navodayas are residential schools, they may if they wish to - voluntarily - hold such activities.

Source: India Today

Smriti Irani slams TOI, says govt never ordered CBSE schools to remain open on Christmas

by FP Staff  Dec 16, 2014 07:47 IST

The HRD ministry appears to be embroiled in constant controversy these days. First it was PM Modi's speech on Teacher's Day which was aired after school hours, and made mandatory for students, then came the German-Sanskrit controversy in the middle of the term for Kendriya Vidyalayas and now the ministry has been accused of trying to ruin the Christmas holiday.
The top headline in this morning's Times of India claims that the Union government wants Christmas to be celebrated as 'good governance day' by CBSE schools to mark the birthdays of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Hindu Mahasabha leader Madan Mohan Malviya.
The report notes, "The BJP government wants CBSE to carry out various activities, like an essay competition, so that students' participation increases." According to TOI, the government-funded Navodaya schools in rural areas have already sent out a notice canceling the Christmas holiday.  Commissioner GS Bothyal. TOI claims, has asked Navodaya schools "to conduct quiz competitions, screen documentaries on best practices in good governance and perform other related activities on Christmas."
HRD minister Smriti Irani. PTI
HRD minister Smriti Irani. PTI
However HRD minister Smriti Irani had slammed the report on Twitter and said that no school has been asked to remain open on Christmas day. She tweeted saying that the essay competition is wholly online  and added that the reporter did not check with officials. Read her tweets below:
The TOI report claims that students will get the topic on 23 December, which gives them two days to get it written.  Irani also did not weigh in specifically on the Navodaya circular. The report has sparked off strong reactions on Twitter with some airing disbelief that the government could jeopardise Christmas for children, while other criticised TOI for publishing a false report. Check out some of the reactions below:

  Smriti Z Irani         @smritiirani
Dear @timesofindia deliberate mischief by ur reporter on the front page today. All schools closed for XMas, essay competition only online.

  Smriti Z Irani         @smritiirani
Dear @timesofindia I wish this reporter had the decency to at least check with people frm TOI who cover d HRD beat.... (1/3)

  Smriti Z Irani         @smritiirani
Dear @timesofindia even the essay competition online is VOLUNTARY.

  Times of India         @timesofindia
Govt wants schools to observe ‘good governance day’ on Christmas 

  shilpi tewari @shilpitewari
The news about HRD giving a notice to schools to open on Christmas is WRONG!! SHAME @timesofindia !! They should apologise

For the Modi sarkar, this isn't the first time that it has faced criticism for taking over a school holiday. September 5 which is celebrated as Teacher's Day and usually meant a half-day or a holiday for kids was this year turned into Prime Minister speech day.
Interestingly the government choose not to have the speech played during early school hours, but at around 3 o' clock and all schools in India had to ensure that students listened to the speech. Some schools such as Bal Bharti in Noida even went so far as to insist on a test on the speech in order to ensure that students didn't skip the lecture.
The Times of India has not yet responded to Irani's tweets or demand for a retraction.

Source: FP

VHP to hold ‘Ghar Wapsi’ in Fatehpur

KANPUR: Unfazed by nationwide backlash, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, is all set to organise a series of 'Ghar Wapsi' (home coming) programmes in Fatehpur district from January 14 to February 16.

Fatehpur happens to be the constituency of controversial BJP leader and minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.

The events, to be organised by Vishwa Hindu Parishad under its ongoing golden jubilee celebrations, are scheduled to be attended by firebrand VHP leaders Praveen Togadiya, Dineshji and Surendra Jain.

"The events will be organised on January 14, February 5 and 16 at Jahanabad, Thaveshwar and in the town area of Fatehpur," state convener of Bajrang Dal Virendra Pandey said while talking to TOI. Pandey claimed that there are nearly 1,000 families, earlier `dalits', living in Joshiyana, Arabpur and Michki areas of Haswa block, Bilanada, Radhanagar, Fareedpur, Sheetla Nagar, Khambapur, Isai Mohalla, Ganga Nagar colony, Abu Nagar and Redaiya pockets of the district.

A major chunk of them embraced Christianity from Hinduism, about 3 to 4 years ago. "Our workers have identified nearly 250 Christian families, out of which 80 were ready for 'home coming'. We don't lure or coerce anyone in the process," he said.

The VHP leader said that there are plans to conduct 'Ghar Wapsi' of 170 other families as soon as this target is met. SP Fatehpur Vinod Kumar Singh said that so far, no one from the outfit has approached them for permission to hold the event. "However, even if such a request is made, we will do a proper scrutiny before giving permission to the organisers to hold the events," he said.

Pandey said, "Why will we seek permission from anyone, as when people convert to Hinduism it is not 'conversion' but just `homecoming' and none can stop us from holding the events, slated to take place on January 14, February 5 and 16. The participants will be required to undergo a fire ritual, fast, bathe in a pond and chant Hindu prayers." In the next few days, VHP volunteers will work to spread its base in every such pockets of the district, he added. He said that all these families converted to Christianity from Hinduism in violation of the law on conversion that requires people to file affidavits affirming their consent to change their religion. Another senior VHP leader added that a Christian missionary by the name `World Vision' was taking advantage of division in Hindu castes and sub-castes and trying to promote Christianity in the country by setting up schools and hospitals in the name of charity.

"We appeal to all our Hindu brothers not get trap by Christian missionaries as we are ready to support Hindus, who are poor, unemployed and uneducated," he said. 
Source: TOI
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