Thursday, 4 September 2008

Is St Xavier's wrong in suspending students for Puja?

The St Xavier's school in Jaipur is in the news for suspending seven students who performed 'puja' in the classroom. This has kicked off a debate and Saffron organisations led by Bajrang Dal and BJYM stoned the school building.

It is true that 'not allowing puja' sounds somewhat wrong to us and the middle-class sensibilities are hurt. Also, the suspension may be considered a bit harsh. But what is intolerable is that one of oldest schools of the City was targeted by vandals, who had no say in this issue.

Puja should not be denied to anybody. But in classroom? That's no place for Puja. Tomorrow some Muslim students will start offering Namaz and so on. A poster of Lord Ganesha was posted in the Class XII.

Principal Jose Jacob had to later say that the students were not performing puja but they were doing a 'mock puja' suggested by the fact that the entire class was laughing when he reached there.

It is middle-class Indian hypocrisy and double standards that we will try every link to get our children the admission in missionary schools, despite knowing that they are run by evangelists. At the same time because they are a minority, we also want them to run their schools by our rules.

This is ridiculous. Even if the school is guilty, the action should be lawful. Not that thugs and hooligans (two hundreds Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and Bajrang Dal activists) will be allowed to storm into the school.

Due to the the incident and the political pressure caused by the communalisation, the suspension was cancelled later. One of the students who was suspended, is son of a BJP office-bearer. His father refused to say anything on the matter.

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