Staff Correspondent

DAVANGERE: Activists of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike staged a dharna in front of St. Paul’s Convent School here on Wednesday protesting against schoolchildren not singing the national anthem or the “nada geethe” during prayer sessions.

The protesters opposed the singing of religious songs during prayers and insisted that pupils sing the national anthem and the “nada geethe” instead.

Students in most of the convent schools in Davangere city sang neither the national anthem nor the “nada geethe,” president of the district unit of the vedike Rame Gowda said, adding,

“It will not be tolerated anymore,” he said.

He said as children of all castes and communities go to schools run by Christian missionaries,

it was wrong on the part of the managements to make children offer religious prayers.

“Hindu culture”

The activists also protested against convents that restricted students from wearing kumkum, flowers and bangles.

It was Hindu culture and tradition to wear these things, they said.

The Block Education Officer rushed to the spot along with the police to prevent the agitators from entering the school.

He assured them that the national anthem and the “nada geethe” would be sung by students during prayer sessions in all schools.

The officer said that he would visit all schools in the next few days and take action against those that did not comply with the rule.