In yet another regressive move, a Haryana panchayat — this time an elected one — has banned girls from participating in cultural programmes at school, saying “singing and dancing spoiled minds and distracted girls from studies”.
Raja Ram Valmiki, the sarpanch of Kinana village, 8km from Jind town, has even shot off a letter in this regard to the government girls’ school and two private schools in the area.
The panchayat has asked the schools to refrain from organising “cultural functions in which girls dance and boys watch”.
Admitting writing the letter, Valmiki told HT on Thursday that it was a collective decision of the villagers.
“During one such function, when girls were dancing on Bollywood numbers, some school boys were sitting on the school wall and hooting,” he said.
The school authorities have been caught in a bind, as they fear if they don’t obey the diktat villagers may pull out their wards (girls) from schools and if they do, they violate rules.
Principal of Jagriti senior secondary school, Kinana, Vinod Kumar, said, “We have directions from the district education department to organise cultural programmes for all-round development of students.”
Elementary education officer of Jind, Vandana Gupta, however, rejected claims of vulgarity in schools during dance performances.
She said, “Allegations of obscenity is shocking, as students dance or sing on Republic and Independence days on patriotic songs.”