Government schools in Odisha
had a tough time earlier this week. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
announced he would go on air to deliver a Mann ki Baat
type oration to schoolchildren on children’s day. All children were to hear the speech in their school. But it was a dream unfulfilled – because many schools had no televisions (and set top boxes) and none could be had for love or money. Local newspapers quoted teachers and school administrators as saying they were unable to hire televisions though they were under pressure from higher ups. Worse, the administration expected not just children but their parents too, to listen to the CM’s speech. Most parents said they had no time to go to their wards’ school for a speech meant for children. What they did not say was, they had better things to do. Patnaik, whose Odiya is rudimentary, started in Odiya but switched to English after a few sentences. Odisha
goes to the polls in June 2019.
Money spent, conference cancelled
Earlier this month, a conference of state power ministers, that was organised taking great pains was cancelled as Union power minister RK Singh cited previous engagements and pulled out. The real reason might have been the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called all members of his council of ministers to dinner and that day coincided with the conference. But the Bihar government was having none of that. So singer Sonu Nigam who was roped on for a concert, did hold the concert even though the audience was truncated because most power ministers didn’t come.