Rationalists demand ban on Saraswati Puja in Bengal govt schools

Kolkata: A Bengal arm of the Science and Rationalists’ Association of India has demanded a ban on organising Saraswati Puja in government-run schools in the state, especially in Purulia district. The Purulia district unit of Bharatiya Vigyan O Yuktibadi Samiti ~ which happens to be the Bengal wing of the Rationalists Association ~ today served a memorandum to the district inspectors of schools in Purulia and the district magistrate voicing the demand. Advertisement Madhusudan Mahato, the district secretary of Yuktibadi Samiti, said that they are against the celebration of any religious events in government-run or government-aided schools and are highlighting the demand as Saraswati Puja is around the corner. Saraswati Puja this year is on 22 January. “India is a secular country and the same is enshrined in our Constitution. Hence, organising any religious events or the birth/death anniversary of religious figures is unconstitutional and illegal. Hence, we have urged the district inspectors for both primary and secondary schools to impose a blanket ban on Saraswati Puja in government-run schools,” Mahato added. Yuktibadi Samiti’s Purulia unit had taken up similar initiative in 2001 and 2016 leading to stopping of Saraswati Puja in a number of schools in the district. But this time the organisation wants the administration to ensure that no schools organise Saraswati Puja on their premises. Purulia district magistrate Alokesh Prasad Roy said that he is yet to come across the memorandum submitted by the Yuktibadi Samiti and cannot pass an outright comment on this.
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