The Madhya Pradesh School Education Department on Tuesday ordered that students of state-run schools should answer their roll calls by saying “Jai Hind”, reported The Indian Express. The new directive will be effective from July 1 when schools will reopen after summer vacations.
“It has now been made compulsory for all 1.22 lakh government schools in the state to answer attendance roll calls by saying Jai Hind instead of Yes Sir/Ma’am,” reads the order signed by Deputy Secretary of School Education Department Pramod Singh, according to The Times of India. It added that the move will infuse the spirit of patriotism among the students. Hoisting the Indian flag and singing the national anthem are already compulsory in all schools across Madhya Pradesh.
Minister of State for School Education Deepak Joshi on Wednesday defended the the state government’s move. “What’s the harm in making it compulsory as its going to instill spirit of patriotism among the school children?” he asked, according to The New Indian Express. “The move should be taken positively by all sections of the society.”
Joshi added that the order was now applicable to only government schools. “It would be optional for private schools,” he said. “We appeal the private schools also to replicate it to instill the feeling of patriotism among students.”
The Congress criticised the move, and asked if by only uttering Jai Hind, the spirit of patriotism could be infused. “We cannot force patriotism,” Congress leader KK Mishra told NDTV. “There is no need to make it compulsory, the government should first think about the quality of education, lack of teachers in government schools.”