Smriti Irani hails directive to Gujarat schools to ensure students respond to roll call with ‘Jai Hind’


Union minister Smriti Irani Tuesday rejected the Opposition’s criticism of the Gujarat government’s directive to schools to ensure that students responded to roll call with “Jai Hind”, and said she would celebrate the country’s prominence by saying “Jai Hind”.

A political row broke out on Tuesday over the Gujarat government’s directive to schools to ensure that students responded with “Jai Hind” or “Jai Bharat” during roll call, instead of the customary “Yes Sir”.

According to a notification issued on December 31, 2018 by the Directorate of Primary Education and the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB), the students of class 1-12 of government, grant-in-aid and self-financed schools will have to respond to attendance call with “Jai Hind” or “Jai Bharat”, starting January 1, 2019.

The objective of the new practice was to “foster patriotism among students right from the childhood”, the notification stated.

“Speaking as an MP from Gujarat, if you are saying the Opposition’s contention is that by saying Jai Hind you are being regressive, then I would rather embrace my nation and celebrate its prominence and say Jai Hind,” Irani said while replying to a question on the Gujarat government’s directive.

The Congress as well as Patidar leader Hardik Patel slammed the move and asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to improve the “deteriorating quality of education” instead.

However, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama defended the directive, saying it would instil “a feeling of patriotism” among students.

Gujarat Congress chief Amit Chavda said the new practice “will not change the quality of education” in government and affiliated schools.

“The BJP government has made several efforts to instil patriotism among students. Altering a certain practice will not improve the standard of education,” he said. (PTI)

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