Rajasthan govt asks schools to observe Ramlalla Pran Pratishtha Day, PUCL protests

Decision influenced by communal sentiments, promotes political agenda, said People's Union for Civil Liberties

File photo of pran pratishtha celebrations on 22 January 2024
File photo of pran pratishtha celebrations on 22 January 2024


In a controversial move, the BJP-led government in Rajasthan has mandated the celebration of 'Ramlalla Pran Pratishtha Day' in all government schools annually. This is to mark the pran pratishtha (consecration) ceremony of the Ram temple held in Ayodhya on 22 January this year.

State education minister Madan Dilawar announced that 22 January will be observed as Ramlalla Pran Pratishtha Day, which has now been officially included in the education department's annual calendar and list of festivals.

As part of the new education calendar, students will be told about the significance of this day and encouraged to engage in discussions and create artwork depicting the event. The calendar provides general directions to inform students about the day's importance and suggests students create drawings showing the pran pratishtha ceremony.

Chief minister Bhajan Lal Sharma's government claims that this initiative aims to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultural heritage among students.

However, some analysts argue that the BJP is continuing to use the popularity of the Ram temple for political gains. They suggest that the move is intended to keep the issue of the Ram temple in the public eye, perhaps because the temple did not boost its campaign to the extent that the BJP had hoped in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

The PUCL (People's Union for Civil Liberties) — a human rights body formed in India in 1976 by Jayaprakash Narayan — has condemned the decision, calling it an attempt to communalise education, and demanded the reversal of the directive, stating that such a decision undermines the concept of a secular state and disregards the sentiments of other communities.

In a statement, PUCL said, "The decision to celebrate the consecration of the Ram Temple in government schools is influenced by communal sentiments and promotes a specific agenda. It is unfortunate that the state’s Education Minister, Madan Dilawar, has been involved in the communalization of educational spaces from the beginning. This decision is the next step in that process."

PUCL also added, "The consecration of the Ram Temple is neither a religious festival nor part of Hindu tradition. Many religious saints do not even consider it a sacred day from a religious perspective. Associating a politically motivated act with religion is inappropriate and will spread misinformation among the younger generation."

In addition to the new annual day, the festival of Raksha Bandhan will also be celebrated annually in government schools, with students tying the raksha sutra (rakhi thread) on each other a day before the festival.

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