February 14 will be celebrated as parents’ day at all schools in Chhattisgarh to teach “Bharatiya sanskriti” to students, the BJP government said on Friday, a move the Congress described as an attempt to impose Hindutva ideology on the state.
A jailed godman advised the state to celebrate Valentine’s Day as ‘Matra Pitru Diwas’, sources said. They, however, did not name the godman.
The Directorate Public Education issued a notice to principals and heads of all schools to observe Matru Pitru Diwas on the day celebrated the world over as Valentine’s Day.
Right-wing Hindu organisations consider Valentine’s Day – dedicated to the patron saint of love – as western culture which is allegedly responsible for moral corruption of the youth.
Groups opposed to Valentine’s Day, such as the Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena, had earlier attacked and humiliated couples celebrating the day in many places across the country.
Chhattisgarh has been celebrating Matru Pitru Diwas since 2012. In 2015 also, similar instructions were given to the schools.
but it is the first time an official order has been issued making it mandatory in schools.
“Chhatra chhatraaon ko Bharatiya sanskriti evam sanskaar se parichit karaya jay (Students should be made aware of Indian culture and values,” the notification said.
Sources said that parents will be invited to the schools of their children, who will offer prayers to them on Valentine’s Day.
State Congress spokesperson, RP Singh, said that the government is trying to impose RSS ideology on the people which is not their right.
“Everyone is free to celebrate any occasion in his/her own way. No state has right to interfere in it,” he added.