Panaji, Jan 15 (IANS) The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday joined the Opposition protest against the Goa Education Department''s decision to hold celebration of the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Indian Constitution on January 16 in the state''s schools, because it clashes with the feast of St. Joseph Vaz, who is the first Goan to be canonised as a Catholic saint.
"If there is an restricted holiday on that day let people be free to take it. Why does the government want attendance to be made compulsory on January 16? It means they have a communal agenda. Why can''t it postponed be January 17. They want to divide society, just like they are doing it with the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens issue," Goa AAP convenor Elvis Gomes told a press conference on Wednesday.
A circular issued by the government''s Education Department on January 13, makes it mandatory for all schools to host functions to celebrate the 70 anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India on January 16, which is notified as a restricted holiday on account of the feast of the locally revered saint.
On Tuesday, the Congress had demanded withdrawal of the circular, accusing the BJP-led coalition government in Goa of being insensitive to sentiment of the Catholics.
Born in Goa in the 1600s, Vaz was canonised in 2015 by Pope Francis in Sri Lanka for propagation of the Catholic religion in the island nation. His father hailed from the Sancoale village and as a young child St. Vaz studied elementary school in Sancoale and his home is now regarded as a sacred sanctuary.
More than a quarter of the state''s 1.5 lakh population is Catholic in religious orientation.
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: IANS