Bihar BJP Leader Accuses Education Department Of 'Terrorising' Teachers During Holi Festivities

Bihar BJP Leader Accuses Education Department Of 'Terrorising' Teachers During Holi Festivities

The Bihar government, of which the BJP is a part, has already declared holidays on March 26 and March 27 on the occasion of Holi and March 29 for Good Friday.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 01:19 PM IST
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Giriraj Singh |

Patna: Senior BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh on Tuesday charged the education department of Bihar with “terrorising” government teachers and treating them as “bonded labourers” by depriving them of holidays during Holi festivities.

Singh, who is seeking re-election from Begusarai Lok Sabha seat, released a strongly worded statement a day after the department warned that those teachers who remain absent at a week-long training workshop currently underway will face a loss of pay for that period.

“Teachers are not bonded labourers. The education department is simply terrorising them and forcing teachers to attend the week-long residential training programme even on Holi today (Tuesday),” Singh said in a video statement he shared on X.

The Bihar government, of which the BJP is a part, has already declared holidays on March 26 and March 27 on the occasion of Holi and March 29 for Good Friday. All offices of the state government will remain closed on those days.

“I am with the teachers and their families and will fight for their cause. Officials (who are passing such orders) will certainly face the consequences sooner or later,” Singh said in the video statement.

Unfazed by the controversy over denial of holidays on account of a week-long residential training programme, the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has warned that those teachers who remain absent during training will face a salary cut.

Despite repeated attempts, Bihar Education Minister Sunil Kumar, who is from the JD(U), was not available for comments.

The training programme which began on March 25 is being attended by around 20,000 government teachers. Organising the event during festivals drew flak from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s ally BJP and the teachers’ bodies.

The SCERT on Sunday came out with a statement, pleading that deferring the training for “just three per cent” of the total number of government teachers would throw things into jeopardy.

Commenting on the education department’s move, Nikhil Anand, National General Secretary of BJP OBC Morcha, told PTI: “Forcing teachers to go for training during Holi is a gross violation of the right to religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. Some high-ranking officials of the state education department are behaving like extra-constitutional authorities.” Alleging that such officers are working against the spirit of the NDA government, Anand demanded strict action against them.

“The SCERT should immediately withdraw this circular as it is against the religious sentiment of teachers,” Raju Singh, convener of TET Primary Teachers’ Association said. 

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