Suspended for chanting Hindu prayer: Teacher

Updated - April 15, 2012 09:52 am IST

Published - March 22, 2012 01:32 am IST - CHENNAI:

A chemistry teacher of SBOA School and Junior College in Anna Nagar West was suspended last week for ‘manhandling and misbehaviour', but the teacher claimed that she was punished for reciting a Hindu prayer to students of Class XII .

On March 13, as the students were gearing up for their examination, teachers were about to recite their routine prayer. “Since the usual group of teachers pray before every examination, I volunteered this time. I said a prayer invoking the blessings of Hindu, Christian and Muslim Gods,” said the teacher, P. Abirami.

Even as Ms. Abirami was reciting the prayer, some of the other teachers allegedly turned off the microphone. “If they had an issue with my prayer, they could have called me aside and spoken to me rather than behaving rudely in front of students,” she said. “I did not give up but continued to say the prayers even more fervently,” she added.

Students on Wednesday said it was unusual for teachers to behave in this way. “Usually a Christian prayer is said before we write examinations. But last week a teacher said some Hindu mantras and the other teachers tried to stop her by turning off the microphone,” said a student.

Principal P. C. Selvarani, said that disciplinary action was taken against the teacher for behaving in an inappropriate manner . “The teacher does not handle Class XII and was on paper-correction duty that day. In spite of this, she came to up the dais, grabbed the mike and started speaking,” she said. “It was against the code of conduct. She just intervened.,” she said.

This sparked off protests by the BJP, VHP and the Hindu Munnani. Their activists staged a protest outside the school on Wednesday, following which 60 people were arrested and later released.

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