Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said on Friday that the celebration of September 29 as Surgical Strike Day in universities was not compulsory but claimed that it was decided on the advice of many students.
He said this after Congress leader Kapil Sibal denounced the decision as “politicisation” and wondered whether the UGC would dare to observe November 8, when demonetisation too place, as a Surgical Strike Day on livelihoods.
“This is like a Gyan (knowledge) Yagya. There is no compulsion on anyone but thousands and lakhs of students want to hear about it and we have done this as per their advice,” Mr. Javadekar said. “Opposition parties are claiming that this is politicisation but it is only about increasing the prestige of the army. There is no politics in it…. We never make anything mandatory but thousands of institutes do it and millions of students listen to it.”
He added, “On the 29th, which is the second anniversary of the surgical strikes, there should be a special NCC parade and NCC officials should explain to students how the nation is protected, how the army defends the nation, and what was special about the surgical strikes.”
He also hit out at the Congress for its criticism of the decision.
“I must denounce the Congress charge that we are politicising the surgical strike. We are not politicising but telling the students how the armed forces defend our country, how they conducted the surgical strike and how they also do very necessary civilian duties. This is to isnpire the students through the patriotic activities of the military and the armed forces,” Mr. Javadekar said.
Asked why earlier surgical strikes were also not being celebrated, he just said, “Good suggestions can be always given and that is always welcome.”