All Delhi government offices will carry photos of B R Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh, and no pictures of any political leader, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday. Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party chief, made the announcement during the Delhi government's Republic Day programme. He said the government offices will henceforth not even have the chief minister's picture.
During his speech, the chief minister said he is most inspired by Ambedkar, who was born in a Dalit family and went on to head the drafting committee of India's Constitution, and Bhagat Singh, a revolutionary freedom fighter, as they charted different courses for a common purpose. "I announce today that in every office of the Delhi government, pictures of Babasaheb Ambedkar and Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh will be put up. Now, we will not put up pictures of politicians, including the chief minister," Kejriwal said. "The Delhi government will function based on the principles of these two freedom fighters," he stated.
Kejriwal said he felt amazed every time he thought about how Ambedkar would have even applied to Columbia University and then went to the London School of Economics when there was no internet, around 100 years ago. He then played a crucial role in writing the country's Constitution and became the first law minister. The chief minister said Ambedkar had a dream that every child should get the best education. "But even after 75 years of Independence, we could not fulfil this. Today, on Republic Day, we all pledge to fulfil this dream," Kejriwal said. In the context of assembly elections in Punjab and other states, the AAP national convenor said the country can be taken forward only when everyone gets a good education and not by tall poll promises.
"India can become number one only when every child gets a good education. There is no shortcut. No matter how big promises are made in elections, it is a long route. We will have to toil hard and to ensure good education to every child is a key step towards this," Kejriwal said. In his 26-minute-long speech, Kejriwal largely spoke on issues related to revolutionary changes in the education system done by his government. He said that in 2015, the AAP government set aside 25 per cent of the budget for education and started improving infrastructure at schools. Teachers were sent to IIMs and foreign countries for training. "It yielded good results as this year the pass percentage in Class 12 is 99.6 per cent," he said.
Kejriwal said, "The government is now moving to the next step in the education sector and is working on three things: happiness curriculum to make students good human beings; entrepreneurship classes from Class 9 to impart business acumen in students; and Deshbhakti' classes to instil a sense of patriotism in them."
"If Babasaheb's soul is looking at us from wherever it is, it must be blessing us. Had Babasaheb been alive today, he would have embraced us," Kejriwal said. The chief minister said that revolutionary changes in schools could be gauged from the fact that Melania Trump, the wife of former US president Donald Trump, had visited a Delhi government school during her trip to India. "It is a big feat and a certificate to our efforts in making revolutionary changes in school education,” he said. The AAP leader later in a statement also said that the Delhi government was establishing the Delhi Teachers' University with a goal of preparing next generation highly skilled teachers of the highest global standards.
He said that the government has also established a unique state education board, called the Delhi Board of School Education. "The board has collaborated with the most renowned school board across the globe, called IB (International Baccalaureate) board. The IB board is such a board that the children of the most rich and elite strive to get into schools recognised by it. Now, the children of the poor too will get to study in such schools,” Kejriwal said in the statement.
The chief minister said that both Babasaheb and Bhagat Singh wanted an independent India wherein success did not depend on one's caste or class and everyone gets equal treatment. "Their idea of India talked about good education, one where a financially weak family wouldn't have to send one child to work so the other can study. They spoke of a revolution. Today, at the Delhi government we dream of the same Kranti (revolution),” Kejriwal said in the statement.
A grand celebration was held at the premises of the Delhi Secretariat. Kejriwal hoisted the national tricolour. The statement said that the ceremony was flanked by the salutations of a traditional police band which further played a melodious rendition of the national anthem on the occasion.
It was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai, Rajendra Pal Gautam and Kailash Gahlot, along with officers from different departments. The ceremony also saw music teachers of the Directorate of Education present songs of Deshbhakti to add a patriotic fervour to the event, the statement said.
With PTI Inputs