Kathmandu, May 13
Veteran culture expert Satya Mohan Joshi turned 100 today.
To celebrate the 100th birthday of the centenarian man, Lalitpur Metropolitan City organised a mass rally in the metropolis.
Culture expert Joshi was given special honour amidst a programme organised in the metropolis. A large number of people attended the programme organised on the premises of LMC office. Minister of Defence Ishwar Pokhrel, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri, mayors of different municipalities in Kathmandu valley, literary personalities and academicians, among others, attended the programme and wished him long life.
LMC has decided to celebrate Joshi’s hundredth year with various programmes. LMC has also decided to give special recognition to Joshi by including a lesson on Joshi in the school curriculum and issuing coins and postal stamps with his photo.
Earlier, LMC had announced a public holiday in the metropolis to celebrate his birthday. However, many people have criticised this decision of LMC saying that it is not the right way of giving recognition to Joshi’s contribution to society and the country.
“There are various ways of honouring and showing respect to the centenarian. But in the name of honouring him, LMC has done injustice to students,” said Bidhyanath Koirala, an education expert.
He said, instead of shutting down schools it should direct the schools to organise different programmes such as panel discussion, contribution and research of Joshi, so that they can know about the personality much more than just learning his name as century person.
He lambasted LMC by saying that the decision to give public holiday was a publicity stunt.
President of National Private and Boarding School Association Nepal Ritu Raj Sapkota appreciated LMC’s move to honour the personalities, who had contributed to the welfare of the country and people.
However, he said that school should not be closed for celebrating birthdays and other similar occasions.
“Shutting schools and celebrating his birthday in Lalitpur won’t help children and youths know about his works,” said Sapkota.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor of LMC Gita Satyal said that students, who had not even heard the name of the centenarian man, at least knew his name due to holiday announcement.
“Local levels have the authority to declare holiday to celebrate local festivals and other celebrations, so there is nothing to create a fuss about it,” she added.
A version of this article appears in print on May 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.