Bihar Govt Cuts holidays on Ram Navami, Rakshabandhan, Eid-Bakrid, and More
Bihar Govt Cuts holidays on Ram Navami, Rakshabandhan, Eid-Bakrid, and More

The Bihar government, under Nitish Kumar, has stirred controversy by altering holiday schedules in government schools. Reports indicate a reduction in Hindu festival holidays and an increase in Muslim festival holidays for the academic year 2024.

According to a press release from the Bihar Education Department, the adjusted 2024 holiday calendar adheres to the required criteria of 220 teaching days as per the Right To Education Act (RTE).

The revised calendar extends summer vacations from 20 to 30 days. Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha (Bakrid) now encompass three days each, while Hindu holidays such as Hartalika Teej and Jitiya have been removed.

Key Hindu festivals like Makar Sankranti, Rakshabandhan, Saraswati Puja, Janmashtami, Ram Navami, Bhaidooj, and Shivratri are absent from the holiday schedule.

Notably, only four Hindu festivals are recognized: Diwali (1), Durga Puja (3), Chhath Puja (3), and Holi (2), summing up to nine days. Conversely, the calendar accommodates six Muslim festivals: shab-e-barat (1), Eid-ul-Fitr (3), Eid-ul-Zoha (3), Muharram (2), Chehallum (1), and Prophet Mohammad’s birthday (1), totaling 11 days.

Additionally, Urdu language schools have the option to observe Friday as their weekly holiday instead of the usual Sunday holiday.

Union Minister Giriraj Singh criticized the Nitish Kumar government, labeling Bihar as the "Islamic Republic of Bihar," accusing them of favoring Muslim festivals over Hindu ones.

Echoing Singh's sentiments, Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey referred to Nitish as the "warlord of appeasement" and slammed the government for allegedly favoring Muslim festivals for political gain.

This move parallels a previous decision by the Bihar government to reduce Hindu holidays between September and December from 23 to 11 days, which faced severe criticism and was eventually withdrawn before being reinstated now.

This controversy follows Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav's recent remarks criticizing UP CM Yogi Adityanath's religious attire and practices, stating that these symbols of Hinduism do not contribute to livelihoods but are merely for display.

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