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‘Not going to stop dialogue with Bengal over its I-Day decision’

IANS | New Delhi |

The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry said it will not sour its relations with the West Bengal government over latter’s decision of not celebrating the Independence Day in the manner as instructed by it, ministry sources said on Monday.

“If the state is resentful over something with us, that does not mean we will adopt the same attitude. The dialogue (with the state) will not be broken off,” a source told IANS.

The senior ministry official also said that the episode will not result in any curtailing of funding towards education to the state.

The Mamata Banerjee government on August 11 had issued a circular to the Sarva Shiksha Mission District Project Officers, among other officials, telling them that the Independence Day be not celebrated as per the guidelines issued by the HRD Ministry.

To commemorate the Independence Day and Quit India Movement anniversaries, the HRD Ministry had issued a number of instructions to educational institutions earlier in the month.

The institutions were instructed to conduct: a pledging ceremony on freedom from communalism, casteism, poverty, terrorism and unhygienic conditions; quiz competition on freedom struggle; visit to any martyr’s memorial; and painting competition, between August 9 and August 30.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had earlier told reporters that there was nothing wrong with the instructions issued, nor was it a new thing to happen.

“These are secular agenda, national agenda, not political agenda… we are not imposing this upon anyone,” Javadekar had told media on Sunday during a briefing.