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Karnataka Min Says Schools, Colleges Free to Celebrate Ganesh Utsav, Draws Flak

"Ganesh Utsav Ok, Hijab Not Ok?" asked a user on Twitter.

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Edited By :Garima Sadhwani

Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh has drawn flak after he said that government-run schools and colleges in the state have full freedom to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi on 31 August.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru on Wednesday, 17 August, he said, "Schools and colleges that have been celebrating Ganesh Utsav at their premises in the past, definitely have full freedom to celebrate the festival this year as well. No need to create any controversy. These practices bind the society, so they have been granted permission."

A purported clip of his comments have since gone viral on social media.

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The Campus Front of India (CFI)'s Karnataka unit, the student wing of extremist Islamic organisation Popular Front of India (PFI), said that the minister was biased.

Athavulla Punjalkatte, the state president of CFI, said that the statement from the minister was an attempt to create unrest in educational institutions in the state.

"Edu Minister allowing to enshrine Ganesha in govt schools & colleges is an attempt to create unrest in the edu sector & gain political advantage. Its condemnable. Ironically, this is the same minister who once told "no religious practices are allowed in edu institutions. Shame!! (sic)" Punjalkatte tweeted.

After drawing criticism, the minister, clarified his statement to The Hindu, saying, "We should not treat the Ganesha festival as a religious programme. It is a movement. It has been celebrated since before Independence and this festival will unite people. That's what I said that educational institutions are free to celebrate the festivals."

(With inputs from The Hindu.)

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Topics:  Education   Gender   Ganesh Chathurthi 

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