Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday defended the government's move to paint the thousands of school classrooms to be constructed under the newly launched 'Viveka' scheme with saffron colour. Under the 'Viveka' scheme named after Swami Vivekananda, the Karnataka government has proposed construction of 7,601 classrooms across the state.
Bommai launched the scheme on Children's Day by laying the foundation stone in Government Higher Primary School at Madiyal in Kalaburagi district. Asked to comment about the move of colour coding such classrooms with saffron that has sparked controversy, the Chief Minister said: "What's wrong to have saffron colour? There's saffron colour in the (national) tricolour. Swami Vivekananda himself used to wear saffron robe".
"They (Congress) aren't interested in comprehensive development of education," Bommai charged. He said there is a tendency to create controversy on any progressive changes made. "Naming schools after Swami Vivekananda will help children draw inspiration from him and a good atmosphere will be created in schools," the Chief Minister opined.
School Education Minister B C Nagesh said if architects recommend to the government that saffron colour looks good on such classrooms, it will be done. "We have left the decision to architects. The government does not decide on what kind of paint, window, door and steps (are to be done). We will take a decision on what they (architects) say," Nagesh said.
"Some people have allergy towards (saffron) colour," he said. Taking a dig at the Congress, the minister said: "I want to ask them, there is saffron colour in their (party) flag. Why did you keep it? Remove it," Nagesh said.
(With PTI inputs)