Henceforth, all Delhi government offices will carry photos of Babasaheb Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh, and no pictures of any political leader, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday.
Kejriwal, also 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 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 elections in Punjab and other states, the AAP 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 revolutionary changes in schools can be gauged from the fact that Melania Trump, 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.