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Valentine Day as Mother's Day? Now, order withdrawn in Maharashtra

By Ians English

Satara (Maharashtra), Feb 13: A directive asking schools and colleges in Maharashtra's Satara district to celebrate St. Valentine's Day as "Mother's Day" was withdrawn Friday, an official said.

The Wednesday circular, issued by the Satara District Education Officer(Primary) directing schools and colleges to celebrate V-Day Saturday as Mother's Day caused a huge row.

Valentine Day as Mother's Day? Now, order withdrawn in Maharashtra.
Barely hours after the circular became public knowledge, triggering stiff opposition from social activists and NGOs, officials sent out a fresh circular asking the educational institutions to ignore the earlier order.

"We have withdrawn the previous order and issued a fresh one. The earlier order went out owing to some technical issues," District Education Officer Pravin Ahire told IANS, without explaining the 'technical issues'.

The Maharashtra education department in Mumbai has sought a report to know under what circumstances was the Feb 11 order issued, an official source said.

NGO Maharashtra State Mahila Lokayog (MSML) termed the Feb 11 directive as "obnoxious", representing the mindset of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government in the state.

"This is nothing but 'cultural goondaism' and a 'Talibani fatwa'. We have no objection to celebrations of love for mother, but why select Valentine's Day for this?" MSML chairperson Varsha Deshpande said.

The earlier order had been sent to hundreds of public and private primary schools and around 25 colleges in the district.

All educational institutions were also directed to make the students sing a well-known Marathi poem dedicated as love for mother -- "Hambrun Vasar Aale Chaat-ti Jawa Gai".

They were told to click photographs and submit them to the district education officer.


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