Schools adopt wait-and-watch policy
A day after hearing about a proposal by the municipal corporation’s education committee that insists on allowing Hindu students to wear bindis and bangles in missionary schools, school authorities appeared unruffled.mumbai Updated: May 22, 2010 01:16 IST
A day after hearing about a proposal by the municipal corporation’s education committee that insists on allowing Hindu students to wear bindis and bangles in missionary schools, school authorities appeared unruffled.
The controversial proposal states that students be allowed to follow Hindu tradition, get more days off on Hindu holidays and that these schools communicate with the BMC in Marathi.
“We will wait and watch to see what happens, we are confident that they cannot put through such a proposal,” said Father Gregory Lobo, head of the Archdiocesan Board of Education. The board helms nearly 150 aided Catholic schools in the city.
“As a minority we are safeguarded by the constitution. We will not have to change our ways every time there is a new batch of corporators,” he added.
School authorities pointed out that the move could be politically motivated.
“They are just making an issue to make their presence felt,” said Father Francis Swamy. “It is only a proposal now, it is yet to come up for discussion.”
Father Almeida, principal of Father Agnel Multipurpose School at Vashi scoffed at the corporation’s proposed move. “What can they do? Who will accept this? The whole nation will turn against them,” he said. “We are all Indians first, our religions come after.”
The Catholic Secular Forum, an NGO, condemned the proposal, saying it smacked of “political opportunism” and “draws education into the vortex of dirty politics”.
The Forum has also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan urging him to ensure that minority rights as enshrined in the constitution are not violated.