A Christian school in Gujarat has punishedr greeting each other by saying Jai Shri Ram. The school made the boys write apology letters for misbehavior. After Hindu organisations staged a protest by chanting Jai Shri Ram in front of the school, the principal has tendered an apology.
Krishna Prasad and Shlok Chaudhry studying 9th standard in st.Mary’s English School in Vapi, Gujarat had greeted each other on the corridor by saying Jai Shri Ram on March 11. They were pulled up by Kalpesh Bhagel, the teacher in-charge of discipline who made them write apology letters. India Today reported that they were punished for “raising religious slogans that went against the rules of the institution”.
Upset with this action of the school the parents had approached Narendra Payak, Vice-president of the Vapi unit of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Along with Bajrang Dal members VHP had staged a protest against the school management and chanted Jai Shri Ram in the school’s premises. Following this the school management issued an apology.
Savio Couthino, the principal and discipline in-charge teacher Kalpesh Bhagel issued apology to the parents in a letter. “After reflection, we the management have realized that the above disciplinary action could have been taken in another way. If we have offended any of your religious sentiments by our action, we sincerely apologize,” they wrote in the letter.
While it is made out to be a mere disciplinary action to punish the kids for shouting, the apology letter the kids were made to write reveals that it is not so. While Shlok Chaudhry wrote, “I realise my mistake of saying shouting Jai Shree Ram in the corridor”, Krishna Prasad wrote, “I have only tell Jay Shree Ram in corridor loudly. Sir next time I will not make any mistake”. It shows how the kids were made to feel bad about using the chant.
Greeting each other with Jai Shri Ram has been a longtime tradition of Hindus. Yet the children were made to feel wrong about using it even as others are demanding their religious attire to be allowed in educational institutions.