In a shocking move, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government has slashed the holidays on the occasions of Janmashtami, Rakshabandhan, Ramnavami, Shivratri, Teej, Vasant Panchami and Jivitputrika, while also giving three days holidays each for Eid and Bakrid, and two days for Muharram. The changes were made in the latest holiday calendar released on Monday (November 27). Summer vacation of teachers has also been cancelled, according to the new calendar, however, this change has not been made for the students. Out of the 60 days leave for teachers, they will have to come to the school for 38 days and will only be given leave on 22 days of the year.
What more is included in the calendar?
Holiday on the Labour Day observed on May 1 has also been cancelled. There will no more be holiday on October 2, which celebrates the birth anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri and Mahatma Gandhi. It was earlier decided that schools will remain functional on the birth anniversaries of great personalities and classes will be held before the recess period and birth anniversary celebrations would be held afterward. The decision was taken with an aim to apprise the children about the values and personality of the great men.
A few months ago, holidays of some Hindu festivals were cancelled, teachers protested, after which the decision was rolled back.
BJP hits out at the Nitish government over the latest calendar
BJP took a jibe at the latest development and said that "Kursi Kumar of Bihar is the leader of appeasement".
“Warlord of appeasement - Kursi Kumar of Bihar. Once again the anti-Hindu face of the uncle-nephew government came to the fore. On one hand, holidays for Muslim festivals are being extended in schools, while holidays for Hindu festivals are being abolished. Shame on the government that hates Sanatan for vote bank,” Union Minister Ashwini Choubey posted on X. formerly Twitter.
Hitting out at the government's decision, BJP leader Sushil Modi alleged that Nitish Kumar's administration has shown an "anti-Hindu face", while claiming that the sentiments of Hindus have been hurt.
"Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government has shown an anti-Hindu face and taken a decision to hurt the sentiments of the Hindus...The holidays for Hindu festivals have been selectively slashed while holidays for Muslim festivals have been increased," Modi said.
Giriraj Singh slams Nitish Kumar
Union Minister Giriraj Singh alleged that the Bihar government is working on the basis of "Islamic religious beliefs".
"Hindu holidays have been slashed while Muslim festival holidays have been increased. This clearly shows that Nitish Kumar-led Bihar Govt is working in the state on the basis of Islamic religious beliefs...CM Nitish Kumar will have to suffer in the upcoming elections if these holidays are not reinstated..." he said.
JDU defended the move by the state government and said that only the Education Department can explain the reason behind the increase of holidays on certain festivals. JDU leader Neeraj Kumar asked the BJP not to look at the decision "through a political lens".
"The holidays of Shab-e-Barat have been reduced and there is no discussion over it...Maha Shivratri, Krishna Janmashtami, Basant Panchami, Holi and Dussehra holidays have been retained...The education department can only give an explanation as to why certain holidays were increased...Instead of looking at it through a political lens, BJP should give an opinion after the clarification from the education department," he said.