Protests over alleged derogatory remarks against Hinduism end with teacher’s suspension at St. Gerosa School

Hindutva organisations and two Mangaluru MLAs take strong objection to alleged remarks made by Sr. Prabha in class

Published - February 12, 2024 10:41 pm IST - MANGALURU

Mangaluru City South MLA D. Vedavyas Kamath leading a protest by activists, parents and local residents seeking disciplinary action against teachers who made alleged derogatory comments against Ram and Hindu religious practices in Mangaluru  on Monday.

Mangaluru City South MLA D. Vedavyas Kamath leading a protest by activists, parents and local residents seeking disciplinary action against teachers who made alleged derogatory comments against Ram and Hindu religious practices in Mangaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: Raghava M.

Sr. Anitha, headmistress of St. Gerosa English Higher Primary School, announcing the decision to suspend teacher Sr. Prabha pending inquiry in Mangaluru on Monday.

Sr. Anitha, headmistress of St. Gerosa English Higher Primary School, announcing the decision to suspend teacher Sr. Prabha pending inquiry in Mangaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: Anil Kumar Sastry

Protests over the alleged derogatory remarks against Hinduism and Lord Sri Rama by a teacher in the classroom of St. Gerosa English Medium Higher Primary School here ended with the management keeping the teacher under suspension pending inquiry by the Education Department.

After Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner M.P. Mullai Muhilan and Mangaluru City Police Commissioner Anupam Agrawal held a lengthy meeting with the school management, School headmistress Sr. Anitha announced the decision to the media at the school premises in Jeppu.

In the written statement, Sr. Anitha said, “Dear parents, we had created a conducive environment with mutual trust and quality education. In the light of the recent incident, we have decided to keep Sr. Prabha under suspension and another teacher will perform her duties.” The headmistress said the school would extend all cooperation to the district administration for a transparent inquiry. The management would abide by the outcome of the inquiry, she said.

Sr. Anitha also said that in its six decades of service, the school did not have any such incident in the past. The school was committed to the Constitutional principles and treated all religions and practices equally. The incident has created a temporary misunderstanding between the parents and the school, she said, hoping the trust would be rebuilt with the cooperation of all.

Mr. Muhilan told reporters that the administration wanted a peaceful resolution to the controversy in the interest of students. The proposed inquiry by the department would be completed at the earliest, he said and sought cooperation from all.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner M.P. Mullai Muhilan along with Mangaluru City Police Commissioner Anupam Agrawal (left) speaking to reporters after meeting the management of St. Gerosa English Higher Primary School in Mangaluru on Monday.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner M.P. Mullai Muhilan along with Mangaluru City Police Commissioner Anupam Agrawal (left) speaking to reporters after meeting the management of St. Gerosa English Higher Primary School in Mangaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: ANIL KUMAR SASTRY

Mangaluru City South MLA D Vedavyas Kamath talking to representatives of management of St. Gerosa School in Mangaluru on Monday.

Mangaluru City South MLA D Vedavyas Kamath talking to representatives of management of St. Gerosa School in Mangaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: Raghava M.

On Saturday

The controversy erupted on Saturday, after a voice message of a parent of the school got circulated on social media alleging that the teacher had spoken lightly about Hinduism, Lord Rama etc., while teaching Class 7 students. Soon, Hindutva organisations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad-Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Jagarana Vedike and Mangaluru City North MLA Y. Bharath Shetty took up the issue and demanded action against the teacher.

On Monday morning, VHP held a demonstration in front of the zilla panchayat office and demanded DDPI D.R. Naik initiate disciplinary action against the teacher concerned, latest by Wednesday.

They later gathered near the school and were joined by Mangaluru City South MLA D. Vedavyasa Kamath, school alumni and parents of students. Raising slogans against the school, they demanded against the teacher Sr. Prabha.

Nearly three hours into the protest, the school authorities informed the MLA and others that the teacher was under suspension. However, the MLA insisted the management also bring on record the incident.

As students began emerging out of the school after school hours, the MLA also came out and joined them in raising “Jai Shri Ram” slogans. A section of students expressed anguish over the alleged “anti-Hindu” conduct of the teacher.

On the arrival of Mr. Muhilan and Mr. Agrawal, Mr. Kamath refused to join them and asked the officers to initiate strict inquiry. The officers urged Mr. Kamath to get students dispersed.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.