New Delhi: Students in Gujarat have to compulsorily listen to a Teachers Day speech on Friday from none other than Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
It will be a live address on Doordarshan's state channel.
Education Officers in every district have sent out a circular to all secondary and senior secondary schools making it mandatory for the principals to arrange for TV sets on the premises and ensure that all students and teachers watch the address - whether they want to or not.
"Negligence in following the instructions will not be tolerated," the circular states, adding that there could be surprise checks.
How the TV sets should be procured has not been spelt out. Nor does the circular make any mention of former president Dr S Radhakrishnan, whose birthday Teacher's Day commemorates.
No teacher wanted to comment on the circular, but Congress leader Arjun Modvadhia has said that Modi was making a mockery of the occasion.
"It is a day which celebrates teachers, in which politicians should have no role," he said.
There has never been a precedent of a Chief Minister addressing students on Teacher's Day, Gujarat Education Minister Ramanlal Vora was quoted as saying: "There is always a first time for everything."