NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh government has scrapped the public holiday to mark the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar on December 6, news agency ANI has reported.
This is a rollback of the order issued by the previous Samajwadi Party government under Akhilesh Yadav on Ambedkar’s birth anniversary in 2015. A circular to this effect was forwarded to all government departments on Tuesday.
The decision by the Yogi Adityanath government comes at a time when the BJP has seen to be making overtures to the Dalit community, by invoking Ambedkar’s name in different political contexts.
He had strongly hinted at this action on April 14, Ambedkar Jayanti. Addressing a meeting after paying his respects to Ambedkar, Adityanath had said instead of having holidays on the birth and death anniversaries of personalities, schools would be kept open and children would be taught about the personalities. The move had received appreciation from some political parties.
UP CM says there will be no holiday in schools on birth anniversaries of great personalities, instead children would be taught about them. pic.twitter.com/HfpDIIJjap
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 14, 2017
Soon after taking charge earlier this year, the Adityanath government had scrapped 15 public holidays that had been announced to mark the birth or death anniversaries of famous personalities, and a handful of other events. These included the birth anniversaries of former Prime Ministers Chandrashekar and Charan Singh; former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur; Parshuram Jayanti; Maharana Pratap Jayanti, Maharaja Agarsen Jayanti, Maharaja Valmiki Jayanti; Vishwa Karma Puja, Chhath Puja; the urs of Moinuddin Chisti and Jamat-ul-Alvida (the last Friday of Ramzan) among others.
The rationale behind the move had been Adityanath’s concern over the shrinking academic session, which he noted had come down to a mere 120 days in a year from the earlier 220 days.