Srinagar, Jan 13: Minister for Education Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday rebuffed claims of Army chief General Bipin Rawat saying that army should confine its role to security related issues and not make unnecessary comments beyond its constitutional mandate.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Kothibagh Higher Secondary School here, Bukhari said Army Chief’s assertion that the teachers in Jammu and Kashmir were teaching two maps to the students and there was no need for separate map for the State, is ‘ totally unfair and unacceptable comment’.
“The Army chief is a respected and well decorated officer of this country. He is a professional and there is no doubt on his professionalism. I don’t think he is an educationit that he will give sermons on education. I think he doesn’t mean what he said,” he remarked.
Bukhari said that he does not think any society will accept sermons on education from non academicians. “I would welcome sermons from academicians on how to run the education system. Education is subject on State list and this is not on concurrent list and falls well within the domain of the State,” the Minister for Education said.
He added: “We know how to run our education system. The constitution of India has given different roles to different people. I would be glad if they (Army) do what they are supposed to do and leave us to do what we are supposed to do.”
He said that J&K has a capable chief minister here who is there to supervise and take review of different departments. “If she finds any reasons for improvement she can pinpoint and order for corrective measures as well.”
Advising the Army Chief to exercise restrain while commenting on issues other than the security related matters, Bukhari said: “I think those sermonizing us should do their duties in a more professional manner so as to ease the sufferings of a common man in Jammu and Kashmir.”
He said trespassing the defined mandates tantamount to committing brazen injustice with duties assigned to people by the constitution. “Army has its own role and let them play the same with utmost responsibility,” he observed.
Bukhari said that his department’s priorities include plugging the loopholes, if any, in the education system and significant success has been achieved on that front. “We have our own education system and we will fix our own problems, if any. Those who are not experts on education should desist from making unnecessary comments. They cannot tell us to have one or two maps. This is totally unwarranted and unacceptable,” Bukhari remarked. (CNS)