FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AND PUBLICATION
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IS IN PAIN AT THE DIRECTIVE OF DAMAN ADMINISTRATION FOR COMPELLING TO VENERATE SARASWATI IN ITS SCHOOLS
UCF appeals to the Administration and the Directorate of Education of Daman to immediately withdraw this circular
New Delhi 15.02.2021
The Christian community in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu are at pain and in anguish with the directive of Directorate of Education, Daman for making the celebration of Vasant Panchami mandatory by venerating Goddess Saraswati.
The official circular issued by the Daman Administration has directed all government, government aided and private school principals to conduct the following programme and submit compliance report along with photographs by 17th February 2021:
- To place Pratisthan at the entrance of the school
- Saraswati Vandana (Prayer)
- Traditional Saraswati Puja / Decoration
- Briefing children about the significance of the festival
- Saraswati Mantra Chant in Group
- Seek blessing of Goddess Saraswati
- Sanskrit Shloka Competition
- Drawing Competition on an auspicious sign like Om, Swastika, etc
- Decoration of school especially with yellow colour
Two years ago, the same administration attempted to cancel Good Friday as gazette holiday. The Christian community had approached the Hon’ble Bombay High Court and succeeded in reversing the order. The community sees this present order as yet another way of restricting the practice of their faith, as well as the right to administer their institutions.
The conduct of the concerned administration gravely impinges on the constitutional “Freedom of Religion” and “Freedom to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions of Their Choice” as guaranteed and protected in the Constitution of India to all minorities.
It is pertinent to note that the secular ethos of this country places a constitutional embargo on the government from giving preferential treatment to any one religion in question. In the landmark judgment of SR Bommai Vs Union of India (All India Reporter 1994 SC 1918); the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that “religious tolerance and equal treatment of all religious groups and protections of their life and property and the places of worship are an essential part of secularism enshrined in our constitution…”
While the patriotic contributions of the Indian Christian community during the freedom struggle are well documented, post-independence Christians have played a major role in Nation building with their contributions in the Armed Forces, the railways, rural healthcare and school and college education, to name a few. This peace-loving community prays that India continues to prosper and the secular fabric of our diverse land stays intact. On behalf of the community, United Christian Forum requests the Administration and the Directorate of Education of Daman to immediately withdraw this circular.
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Mr. A C Michael +-91-9818155290 /firstname.lastname@example.org
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