Published On : Thu, Jan 26th, 2017

State orders removal of photos of gods, religious figures from offices, schools


In a controversial move, Maharashtra Government has ordered removal of photos of gods and religious figures from all government offices and state-run educational institutions with immediate effect. A circular issued by General Administration Department and Rural Development Department in this regard drew instant flak from Shiv Sena.

Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena MLC and spokesperson of the party castigated the BJP Government by saying that such act was not even committed by Congress-NCP Government but it has been done by a party which calls itself “Hindutvawadi.”

Although the circular was issued on January 4, the details were known recently. Earlier, the Congress-NCP Government had also issued such circular in 2002 but it was never implemented. According to the circular, putting photos of gods and religious figures in Mantralaya, government offices, semi-government offices, offices of local bodies, state-run educational institutions is against the provisions of Constitution.

The Rural Development Department has sent a letter to all district councils asking the government offices not to resort to any religious activities. This is in line with the Constitution of India that insists on secular nature of the government machinery.

In the letter, the offices have been directed that ”performing religious rituals, celebrating festivals and putting up posters and slogans on the walls was against the Constitutional provisions and hence should not be practiced. The officers have also been directed to remove such slogans or the portraits respectfully.