If you think we're living in a secular India, think again. A 15-year old Muslim boy in Bengaluru was forced to recite a Sanskrit prayer on stage during the daily school assembly.
Why? As punishment for not reciting the Sanskrit shlokas during the daily school prayer. To make matters worse, he was then pulled up by the prinicipal for his diction. The school has recently adopted a few Sanskrit shlokas as its official prayers
"I was humiliated in front of 1,200 students and my Constitutional right was violated. She made us go on stage and forced us to sing the prayer in front of everybody. She scolded me in front of everyone on the mic when I mispronounced a few Sanskrit words," said the student to The Hindustan Times.
After he complained to his mother, she along with activists of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) approached the school and tried to register a complaint with the principal. However, the principal did not understand their reason for outrage. According to her the prayer was important to "instil values and discipline in students".
"What disturbed us most is that the principal suggested that the boy was turning into a fundamentalist Muslim. She also made snide remarks about the fact he was from Bhatkal (a Muslim dominated town in coastal Karnataka)," said R Khaleemullah of the APCR in a statement.
"In my son's class, at least a third of all students are (from another religion). So, how can they enforce a Hindu prayer on everyone?" the father asked The Telegraph. He now plans to take up the issue with the state education department.
Speaking to HT, principal Padmaja Menon said that the prayers that invoke the names of Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, has a universal message as Brahma is the creator of the universe.
The parents however are disappointed as they believed they had sent him to a "secular" school and not a madrassa, because they wanted him to receive a secular education.
Updated Date: Aug 05, 2015 16:46:44 IST