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‘No animal sacrifice during Kullu Dussehra’

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Kullu (Himachal Pradesh): Animal sacrifice for religious ceremonies has stopped in Kullu district – famous for the centuries old Dussehra festivities – since the high court ban last year, an official said on Thursday.

“There has not been a single instance of animal sacrifice in Kullu district since the high court banned animal sacrifice in September 2014,” Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kanwar said in a statement.

The famous, centuries old Kullu Dussehra festival earlier used to see animal sacrifice.

He said the administration has taken strong steps to ensure that no such instance happens and the people associated with the Dev Samaj, which comprises representatives of the deities, have also followed the court orders.

According to tradition, the sacrifice of a buffalo, a male lamb, a fish, a crab and a chicken is an important ritual on the concluding day of Kullu Dussehra, which begins in Kullu town after it ends in the rest of the country.

This year the festival will commence on October 23 and will see congregation of over 200 gods and goddesses of the Kullu Valley.

Kanwar told IANS that even during last year’s Kullu Dussehra that fell immediately after the ban was imposed, the local administration managed to convince the Dev Samaj to forgo the practice to appease the gods.

He said that for the first time in over 350 years it happened that no animal sacrifice was carried out last year. The symbolic sacrifice ritual was in fact performed by breaking a coconut.

Invoking parens patriae, a doctrine that grants the state authority to protect those who are legally unable to act on their own, a division bench consisting of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Thakur had observed: “The practice of animal and bird sacrifice is abhorrent and dastardly.”

The bench had banned the animals sacrifice in temples, saying they cannot be permitted to be killed in a barbaric manner to “appease” the gods.

The Kullu Valley is also popularly known as the ‘Dev bhoomi’ – the land of gods. Every village has several resident gods and goddesses – who are invoked as living deities.

(IANS)

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Publishers Body Welcomes HC Order Lifting Non-NCERT Book Ban

"The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,"

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Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay
Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay

The Association of Publishers in India (API) on Tuesday welcomed the Delhi High Court order which stipulated that sale of non-NCERT books must not be disallowed in CBSE-affiliated schools, calling the practice “discriminatory”.

“The court decision exemplifies the point that an ideal education system is the one that recognizes the role of multiple stakeholders and is learner-centric. The decision has been welcomed by not just students and parents but also by schools, private publishers, authors and others as it symbolizes ‘freedom of choice’ in education,” the representative body of publishers of academic texts said in a statement.

ALSO READ: The glorious tales of Chaar Sahibzaade to be included in NCERT syllabi

“The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,” it said.

NCERT
Arguing that the sale of books, stationery and other items sold by the school be treated as “essential requirements”, the court last week in a decision refused to put a ban on these activities. Pixabay

 

In doing so, the court overturned the April 2017 injunction issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which asked affiliating schools not to indulge in “commercial” activities.

ALSO READ: App allowing free download of all NCERT books to be launched soon

The court said the availability of uniforms, non-NCERT reference books or even food items for sale only to the students of the school does not fall in the category of and cannot at all be considered as commercialization.

Earlier in its circular, the board had asked the schools to “desist from the unhealthy practice of coercing parents to buy textbooks, notebooks, stationery, uniforms, shoes, school bags etc from within the premise or from selected vendors only” and directed them to operate as doing “community service” as per the board by-laws.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha, in December last year, told Parliament that CBSE has not directed students or schools to buy or prescribe NCERT books only. (IANS)

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