In a surprising move, the Bihar government, led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has drawn criticism for reducing holidays on Hindu festivals while extending leave for Muslim festivals.
As reported by IndiaTV, The altered holiday calendar, released on Monday (27 November), has sparked controversy as it slashes leave on occasions like Janmashtami, Rakshabandhan, Ramnavami, Shivratri, Teej, Vasant Panchami, and Jivitputrika.
According to the revised calendar, holidays for Eid and Bakrid have been extended to three days each, with Muharram granted two days off.
Additionally, teachers are now expected to attend school for 38 days out of their 60 days of leave, a substantial reduction from the previous allocation.
The summer vacation for teachers has also been canceled, although students remain unaffected.
The canceled holidays also include Labour Day on 1 May and the birth anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri and Mahatma Gandhi on 2 October.
This move has ignited criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with leaders accusing Nitish Kumar of practicing 'appeasement politics' by selectively favoring Muslim festivals over Hindu celebrations.
Union Minister Ashwini Choubey labeled Nitish Kumar as the "warlord of appeasement," expressing discontent over the prioritisation of one community's holidays.
Sushil Modi, a BJP leader, accused the Bihar government of displaying an "anti-Hindu face" and claimed that the sentiments of Hindus had been hurt.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh went further, alleging that the Bihar government is operating on the basis of "Islamic religious beliefs" and warning of potential electoral repercussions if the holiday decision is not reversed.
In response, the Janata Dal (United) defended the decision, stating that the Education Department could provide insights into why certain holidays were increased.
JDU leader Neeraj Kumar urged the BJP to refrain from interpreting the decision through a political lens and suggested waiting for clarification from the education department before passing judgment.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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