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J&K education dept lands in controversy over fund collection for Tiranga campaign

Last Updated on July 25, 2022 at 9:35 pm

Students were instructed to contribute Rs 20 to the government’s “Har Ghar Tiranga” campaign via a circular issued by the education department in Budgam, Jammu and Kashmir. This has sparked a controversy.

On July 16, the Chadoora zonal education officer (ZEO) sent out a circular to every school in the region instructing the administrators to collect money from all students and employees in support of the campaign that was started as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The circular stated that according to the instructions from the Chief Education Officer Budgam, the HOIs (heads of institutions) in this zone are requested to collect Rs 20 per head from the students and staff members of the school and to deposit the same in ZEO office within four days. It also mentioned that fees should only be collected from one student when there are multiple students in the same family.

Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a former member of the legislature from Chrar-e-Sharief, uploaded a copy of the circular on social media platforms and criticised the government for making the payment “compulsory.”

He tweeted that It is disappointing to see orders made that go against the Divisional Commissioner’s assertion that the “Har Ghar Tiranga” movement is entirely voluntary and free of coercion and demand. He went on to say that the government must understand that nationalism emerges naturally and cannot be pushed by the use of force.

Inderjeet Singh, the deputy chief education officer for Budgam, said that the circular was incorrectly issued and that the donation is optional. According to him, the concerned zonal education officer has already corrected the circular.

Mehbooba Mufti, the president of the PDP, on Sunday shared a video on Twitter in which it appeared that city workers in Anantnag were allegedly urging merchants to donate Rs 20 apiece for the flag to “avoid trouble”.

Mehbooba tweeted that it appears as though Kashmir is an enemy region that has to be taken over in the way that the J&K administration is making students, businesses, and employees pay to raise the national flag. Patriotism is ingrained in us and cannot be forced. Hanjura also raised questions over the administration’s choice to close two schools in Lal Chowk on Monday in order to support the BJP’s Vijay Diwas Tiranga Yatra.