Home Dalit A week after reinstating Ravidas Jayanti as school holiday, UP government cancels...

A week after reinstating Ravidas Jayanti as school holiday, UP government cancels it

By Siddhant Mohan, TwoCircles.net

The UP government has once again cancelled the state holiday on Ravidas Jayanti from its list of holidays of state-run schools and has directed schools to hold functions in Sant Ravidas’ honour.

Just a week ago, Ravidas Jayanti-falling on January 31 this year-along with Karpuri Thakur’s birthday was reinstated in the list of holidays. In the initial days of the UP government, the Yogi Adityanath-led government had scrapped these two days from its list of holidays.

The new order, which came on Monday evening, asked all schools in the state to conduct various programmes related to Sant Ravidas. The order states that the schools can celebrate the day with debates, quiz, seminars, special lectures and competitions over the life and work of Sant Ravidas.

The order — issued by School Inspector Mukesh Kumar Singh — has also asked schools to submit photographs and details of the functions organised.

When UP government restored the holiday on Ravidas Jayanti a few days ago, it was seen as the politically motivated step. Eastern Uttar Pradesh — especially Varanasi as the birthplace of Ravidas — is a larger centre for devotees of Sant Ravidas. Every year, millions of devotees of Ravidas, called ‘Raidasi’, come to Varanasi on the occasion of Ravidas Jayanti and stay almost for a week.

Both the Congress and Samajwadi Party used Ravidas Jayanti to attract the Dalit and Sikh votes, especially when ex-speaker of Lok Sabha and Congress leader Meira Kumar started visiting Ravidas temple in Varanasi about five years ago. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also scheduled to visit Varanasi on January 31 this year, where he will visit Ravidas temple and meet Raidasis.