The Rajasthan government’s order for organising blood donation camps in all government and private colleges on September 25 on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Jan Sangh ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay, which is likely to coincide with Bakr Eid, was challenged in the Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday.
The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by the Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity (FDCA), a “forum of different social and human rights organisations and eminent social workers”.
“This move of the state government is totally unconstitutional and a sheer breach of civil rights of the college staff, who will have to work on a gazetted holiday,” said Sawai Singh, state chief of the FDCA.
Indicating that the state government would go ahead with its order, Rajasthan Higher Education Minister Kali Charan Saraf told The Indian Express, “Duty on September 25 is optional; if Muslims want to observe Eid, they are free to do so. The order is ethical.”
However, point number 15 in the 19-point order from the college education department, issued on September 2, directs principals of all government as well as private colleges to not grant leave to any staff member on September 24 and that they should remain in town that day.
Mohammad Iqbal Siddiqui, state secretary of FDCA, said that on a gazetted holiday, everyone, irrespective of their religion, should be able to observe or enjoy a holiday. “The BJP is only following the communal agenda of the Sangh Parivar. On this day, Muslims would like to be with their families, but this may be curtailed if the state government proceeds with this order.”
Chief Quazi of Jaipur and convener of Central Hilal Committee, Khalid Usmani, had on Monday announced that Eid al Adha, or Bakr Eid, would be observed on September 25.
The government, however, maintained its stand that the holiday was not cancelled. Health Minister Rajendra Rathore reiterated that the blood donation camps were “voluntary and not binding”. “The government has no intention to cancel the Eid holiday and has not taken any such decision,” Rathore said.