In Gujarat Schools, Controversy Over Order for Hindu Puja

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In Gujarat Schools, Controversy Over Order for Hindu Puja

The order has been issued to schools run by the city's civic body. (Representational photo. Courtesy: Reuters)


Ahmedabad:  Hundreds of schools in Ahmedabad have received a government circular that orders them to perform prayers and chants for Saraswati puja on Saturday.

A circular sent by the administrative officer of the city's municipal school board, LD Desai, says, "This is to inform all municipality schools that Mahusud Pancham, also known as Vasant panchmi, is a festival that worships Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of education, art and knowledge. To help students understand that knowledge can take them to great heights, schools should ensure that Saraswati puja is performed and Saraswati vandana (chants) is recited. Also, explain to the students how Vasant Panchami is celebrated."

The order has been issued to schools run by the city's civic body.

Some 300 Gujarati medium schools, which have about 10,000 Muslim students, will also be required to follow it.

Principals of some Urdu medium schools in the city - there are 50 - have expressed discomfiture over the circular.

"The puja can hurt sentiments of some minority community students. We haven't even informed them. It is a tricky situation for us,'' a principal said, refusing to speak on record.

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