Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Secondary Education Vijay Bahadur Pal on Thursday told students that if they recite the name of Ram, it will ruin them.
At a function to distribute free laptops to meritorious students of ICSE, CBSE and UP Board in Lucknow, Pal said: “Suno meri baat, agar tum chillaye baar baar Ram naam, to ho jayega kaam tamam (If you recite the name of Ram again and again, it is going to ruin you).”
He then went on to tell the students that if they are caught in “orthodox talks”, they would be left wandering. Without taking any name, Pal said those speaking about “mann ki baat” should instead speak from the brain.
The minister said so in the presence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, five other ministers and officials of the education department.
Later, Pal said: “I respect Ram, who had gone on vanvas and had seen many hardships. All I wanted was to caution students against those who want to make them useless by engaging them in orthodox talks. I just used name of Ram as an example.”
While praising his ministers for “straight and direct talk”, Akhilesh in an indirect attack on the Modi government, said: “Some people were giving free WiFi facility in UP but I want to ask them, would grass cutters run on WiFi? Ultimately, WiFi without laptop is useless, which has been provided by our government.”
He added that during his visit to Fatehpur earlier in the day, he had said that one should visit foreign countries for investment. “In Fatehpur, I had said that one should go for foreign trips to attract investment. The Centre is trying to get investment from abroad. Our state government is also trying to get investment. We have framed an industrial policy to get investment,” said the CM.
“While it has been highlighted that I have praised foreign visits, I have also said that we need to be cautious about how much of our profit is going to go abroad. This should also be looked into,” he clarified.
“Earlier, there was a perception that Samajwadi Party is a party of villagers but some of our steps like laptop distribution, focus on Information Technology, expressway and Metro projects will prove that it is also a party of urban areas,” said Akhilesh.
As many as 595 meritorious students, who had cleared Class X and XII last year from UP Board, ICSE and CBSE, were given free laptops.