MP govt sparks fresh controversy, wants teachers to be called 'Rashtra Rishi'

The decision to address the teachers as 'Rashtra Rishis' was taken by the State's Education Minister Archana Chitnis recently and would be implemented from September 13 official sources said on SUnday.

However, the move has invited the wrath of minority leaders who questionthe logic behind calling educational professionals as 'Rishi', a term normally associated with holy persons who have abandoned the world for spiritual path.

"Teachers or educationists cannot be equated with rishis like Vishwamitra," Archbishop of Madhya Pradesh Leo Cornelio said.

"At best teachers can be called as 'learned persons' and not Rishis," he said adding "I failed to understand why the government engages itself in doing all these funny things. It is an insult to the spiritual person."

Criticising the decision, Chairman of All India Muslim Teohar Committee Ausaf Shahmiri Khurram said it was not acceptable to them.

"Why don't they call them Rashtra Moulvi," he said.
In a snub to the state government, the High Court has directed it not to make 'Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) exercise in schools mandatory after a church body challenged the move.

Muslim bodies have vowed to oppose government's decision making it compulsory for children to recite 'Bhojan Mantra' before the midday meals, which is to come into effect from September 5, claiming it violated their right to religious freedom.

The opposition Congress while welcoming the High Court decision, said that people were not against Surya Namaskar but it can't be made mandatory.

It appears that the decision was taken in haste, State Congress spokesman K K Mishra said and advised the state government to focus on improving the infrastructure facilities in schools instead of implementing such 'whimsical' decisions.

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