The Maharashtra opposition has slammed a purported order circulated on social media networks mandating all government schools in the state to exhibit a short film based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ‘Chalo Jeete Hain, next week.
The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have termed it an attempt to make an ‘avatar’ out of Modi while the Maharashtra Principals Association (MPA) made it clear that no such official order had been received.
As per the alleged diktat received by many government schools on WhatsApp, they are required to show the film to primary or secondary students on September 18, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The so-called edict says that the film, to be be streamed live, should be shown on laptops or desktop computers with a minimum 1Mbps Internet speed, use projectors, screens and a sound system, besides instructions on how to access it through the Internet browser and popularise the initiative among the students.
However, Maharashtra education department officials, declining to be identified, said no such orders had been issued.
State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said: “Why only a film? The government can introduce a chapter or an entire syllabus on Modi, award college degrees named after him, change the names of all universities after him to prove to the poor that Modi is an ‘avatar’.”
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the alleged fiat is to arrest the PM’s declining popularity among the people and such moves to show films in schools must be strongly opposed.
MPA President Prashant Redij said such a move was highly condemnable and if any official order was received, they (MPA) will strongly oppose it.
“It is being planned in the midst of the Ganeshotsav celebrations when students hardly attend school. Moreover, the so-called diktat is being circulated only on WhatsApp and other media. If government school teachers challenge it, they are suspended or transferred,” Redij said.
The 32-minute documentary, directed by Mangesh Hadvale, has been viewed by the President, cabinet ministers and top government officials in the past couple of months, besides broadcast by certain private television channels on July 29.
Earlier, another full-length film inspired by the PM, ‘Modi Kaka Ka Gaon’ released in December 2017, almost a year after having major problems with the Censor Board. The film was a box-office disaster.