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Bihar holiday calendar sparks religious uproar: Hindu festivals dropped, BJP accuses bias

Union Minister Ashwini Choubey raised objections to the calendar, citing the cancellation of holidays for Hindu festivals in stark contrast to the extended holidays marked for Eid.

Bihar holiday calendar sparks religious uproar: Hindu festivals dropped, BJP accuses bias AJR
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First Published Nov 28, 2023, 1:55 PM IST

The Bihar government's recent announcement of the school holiday calendar for 2024 has stirred controversy, igniting a fierce debate over the exclusion of holidays for several Hindu festivals. The decision, issued by the Education Department, has triggered uproar and drawn widespread criticism, with accusations of religious bias and favoritism being hurled across political spheres.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has condemned the school calendar, asserting claims of a stark disparity in treatment between Hindu and Muslim festivals. The saffron party has accused the calendar of displaying a bias against Hindu festivities while seemingly favoring those of the Muslim community.

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Union Minister Ashwini Choubey raised objections to the calendar, citing the cancellation of holidays for Hindu festivals in stark contrast to the extended holidays marked for Eid. Expressing his disapproval on social media, the Union Minister highlighted, "Once again, the anti-Hindu stance of the uncle-nephew government has surfaced. Muslim festival holidays are being prolonged in schools while Hindu festival holidays are being revoked."

Adding fuel to the fire, Dr. Ajay Alok, the BJP's national spokesperson, went a step further, suggesting that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should declare Bihar as an 'Islamic state', emphasizing the perceived favoritism toward one community over the other.

The revised holiday calendar for 2024 explicitly excludes significant Hindu festivals such as Maha Shivratri, Janmashtami, Raksha Bandhan, and Teej, among others. This decision marks a notable departure from the previous year's calendar, which allocated two days for Teej and one day for Jeetiya at Bihar government schools.

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The contentious move has spurred debates across political circles, intensifying discussions about religious inclusivity and fairness in the state's educational institutions. As controversies escalate, the political discourse surrounding the allocation of holidays for diverse cultural and religious events in Bihar's school system continues to reverberate, sparking heated exchanges and raising pertinent questions about religious parity and communal representation.

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