Nationalist Congress Party leader Chhagan Bhujbal made a controversial statement and questioned to ‘displaying goddess Saraswati’s portrait in schools’ on Tuesday at Mumbai.
Bhujbal said, “why do we display goddess Saraswati’s portrait in schools? instead of displaying our social reformer’s portrait who gave us the right to education. Social reformers like Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Savitribai Phule, Karmaveer Bhaurao patil and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar gave us the Right to Education and Goddess Saraswati gave education to only 3% of people.”
Maharashtra’s ex-Minister’s statement created a controversy in Maharashtra. A lot of criticism has been made at different stages after Bhujabals’s statement. As well as, Some political leaders support Bhujbal and agreed with his statement.
Minister of Forests, Cultural Affairs and Fisheries of Maharashtra Sudhir Mungantiwar told Afternoon Voice, “we don’t have to take them seriously as they lost their power. Because of losing chairs, the opposition are making silly statements.”
BJP leader Bhalchandra Shirsath said, “we are not opposed to displaying a picture of social reformers but Opposing Hindu God and Goddesses pictures is a pseudo secularism and we are against of that.”
Spokesperson of Nationalist Congress Party Ravikant Varape supports Bhujbal and stated, “we the bahujan people get education because of Mahatma Phule, Savitribai Phule, Shahu Maharaj and Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil. Goddess Saraswati is known as the Symbol of Knowledge, but for us these Social reformers are Symbol of Knowledge.”
“BJP knows they are facing lot of criticism because of inflation and unemployment. To make peoples attraction they are protesting against this statement.” He further said.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Dhananjay Shinde took jibe at both Bhujbal and the BJP and told us, “everyone has a right to speech but we should not get stuck in the politics of statues and portraits. Rather, we should follow the ideologies of those social reformers. Does Bhujbal himself follow the paths of these social reformers? Who did the Maharashtra Sadan scam and Telagi scam?”
“BJP is protesting against the statement but they themselves are privatizing the education sector.” He further said.
On Thursday, Bhaujabal stuck to his statement and said, “I have the right to express my views. Social reformers opened the doors of education for us by facing many difficulties. Why should we not worship those who fought to give education to us?”
Earlier, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took a jibe at Chagan Bhujabal and said, “who doesn’t believe in Indian culture and Hindutva. Only that person made such a statement. Our government will never remove portraits of goddess Saraswati from schools.”
In the pre-independence era, women and people from the Lower coast didn’t have the right to be educated. Social reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule opened the first school for women in Bhidewada in Pune. He taught his wife Savitribai Phule, and then Savitribai became the first women teacher in the country. Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil opened several schools for the Bahujan people who don’t have a right to education. After Independence, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar gave the right to education to every Indian by writing the constitution.