SHOW LOVE towards your parents and your country on Valentine’s Day is the message that Solapur district’s primary education officer Tanaji Ghadge tried to deliver through a written instruction issued to all schools in the district on February 8. Except that the move backfired swiftly as the education officer erroneously put the date of hanging of freedom fighters — Bhagat Singh and Rajguru — as February 14, an error quickly pointed out by an education activist in Pune who complained to higher-ups. Ghadge quickly withdrew the offending letter and instructions to schools.
Though the letter made no direct reference to Valentine’s Day, it did ask officers to ensure that students do an ‘aarti’ of their parents and express their love for them. What has peeved the activists is that the letter begins by stating that February 14 is the day when freedom fighters —Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru — were hanged, and this is the date they are to be honoured. Ghadge said that this was a typing error made by a clerk.