YSRCP Govt in AP renames Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar Awards after his father; Draws flak for self-aggrandizement and insulting Abdul Kalam
The dynasty bug which bit the Congress resulted in naming and renaming of every award, stadium, national park, roads, bridges, organisations after one family. The same seems to have been happening in Andhra Pradesh under YSRCP. A dynastic party, YSRCP was found by YS Jagan after former CM and his father YS Rajashekar Reddy. Jagan who is the current CM is bent upon following the Congress model. His government now has renamed Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar Awards as "YSR Vidya Puraskars".
The Pratibha Awards were constituted in 2017 by the former TDP Govt under Chandrababu Naidu and were named after DR APJ Abdul Kalam. The aim was to promote quality and excellence in education through the government scheme where meritorious students who excelled in the SSC Public Examinations were awarded with merit certificates, a memento and scholarship to meet the cost of higher education. Now Jagan's government has decided to rename the award after his father YS Rajasekhar Reddy.
The Principal Secretary of the School Education department of the AP government has issued orders dated 4th November, 2019 which were released to the media. The order states that, "After careful examination of the matter, the Government has decided to introduce the Y.S.R. Vidya Puraskars from the year 2019 onwards on the occasion of birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad which is being celebrated as National Education Day across the Country on 11th November". The order further states that, "Accordingly, Government hereby order (sic) to re-designate the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar Awards as Y.S.R. Vidya Puraskars from 2019 onwards...".
AP government order 're-designating' Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar awards as "YSR Vidya Puraskars"
The awards are restricted to only Government School students. These awards will be distributed at the district level with the participation of District Ministers, MPs and MLAs.
However, this move to rename the award has drawn flak from all quarters including students themselves. DR APJ Abdul Kalam is still dear to students all across the country as a scientist, as people's president and an inspiring author. AP BJP leader Lanka Dinakar has said that it was an unfortunate development which showed utmost arrogance in the decisions of Andhra Pradesh Government by disrespecting the great Scientist and former President of India by re-designating an award constituted in his name with the name of his father.
Former AP CM Chandrababu Naidu tweeted on the development and said that "Dr. Kalam has accomplished much for the nation with his inspiring life. @ysjagan’s govt changing “APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar” to “YSR Vidya Puraskar” is a shocking method of self-aggrandizement at the cost of disrespecting a much venerated man. #YSRCPInsultsAbdulKalam". TDP National General Secretary, Ram Mohan Naidu K has said that it was extremely petty that these awards, now renamed after YSR, have not been spared the name-changing drive of the government.
Govt schemes renamed after YSR
Renaming of the award constituted in the memory of APJ Abdul Kalam is not the first instance of self-importance. Ever since it came to power in June 2019, the YSRCP government has passed many such controversial orders renaming government schemes after his father.
The NTR Vaidya Seva was renamed as YSR Arogyasri. Anna NTR Canteen was renamed as Rajanna Canteen. The government had also drawn criticism for repainting several government schools where the Indian National Flag on the school buildings were replaced with the colors of the YSRCP party flag.
Indian national flag colors on several government schools were repainted with YSRCP party flag in AP
Ever since the government order renaming the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar Award became public, people have been criticising the government on social media. 'Sorry Kalam' and #YSRCPInsultsAbdulKalam have been trending on Twitter the entire day.