Chennai SBOA schoolteacher suspended for reciting Hindu prayer – Kumar Chellappan

SBOA School & Junior College

SBOA School LogoAbirami, a chemistry teacher of the State Bank of India Officers’ Association Educational Trust School (SBOA), recited the prayers in the school assembly on March 13, 2012 hoping to inspire the 330 students who were about to write the chemistry paper in the public examination.

“I recited the lines Om Mathru Devo Bhava, Om Pitru Devo Bhava, Om Acharya Devo Bhava, Om Vighneswaraya Namaha, Om Neela Saraswathiye Namaha which was repeated by the students. But before they could reach the stanza Om Vighneswaraya Namaha, school’s vice-principal Jayanthi Sundar, a Christian who is also an evangelist, switched off the mike. I told her that prayers were not yet over and continued reciting the full prayer when she pushed me aside and asked another Christian teacher to lead the prayers. They put me under suspension on that day itself on charges of physically assaulting the vice-principal in front of the school students,” Abirami told The Pioneer.

P C SelvaraniShe said that though the school was launched by the State Bank of India Officers Association, it has turned out to be a Christian management school. “Only Christian prayers are allowed in the school assembly though majority of the students are from the Hindu community. It was only on the day of the chemistry examination that I took part in the school assembly and recited the prayer. My intention was to recite prayers for the benefit of students belonging to all religions,” said Abirami.

Though she has been under suspension for the entire academic year 2012, the management is yet to complete the disciplinary proceedings which in itself are a violation of education department rules. “The internal disciplinary proceedings against her are under progress. Ours is a secular school and all the charges levelled against us are baseless. Abirami is trying to divert the attention of the general public by inciting religious sentiments,” P.C. Selvarani, the school principal, said. She alleged that Abirami was trying to spoil the minds of the students. But she refused to divulge the reasons behind the suspension and disciplinary proceedings against Abirami.

Jayanthi SundarStudents who took part in the March 13 school assembly said Abirami did not in any way violate the school discipline. “Abirami offered prayers for all religions equally. While she was offering the prayers, vice-principal Jayanthi Sunder tried to snatch the microphone from her hands. Consequently, Abirami resisted this act and did not force Jayanthi Sunder physically in any form. I could deduce no reason for her suspension,” said S Vidhyalakshmi, a student who was present in the assembly on the fateful day.

Some of the students backed Abirami’s claim that only Christian prayers are recited in the school assembly everyday. “Only Christian teachers are allowed to lead the assembly and recite the prayers. This has baffled us,” one of the students who did not want to be quoted said.

B.R. Haran, a political commentator, described as outrageous the action of the school authorities. “This is a classic case of minorities serving their religion wherever they are. They infiltrate a secular institution, take control of management and convert it into a minority institution. This is what has happened exactly in this case. The SBOA is now controlled by the Church. That is Indian secularism for you,” said Haran.

State Bank of IndiaV. Sundaram, All India General Secretary (Ideology), Janata Party, called the bluff on the school management. A former IAS officer with more than three decades of administrative experience, Sundaram termed the action of the school management as a violation of the freedom of religion. “If we interpret true secularism, the court itself can take suo moto note of the news and initiate action against the school,”  he said.

Hindus and Muslims are hurt by the school management’s action, if comments on the social networking websites are any indication.     

Though Abirami approached the chairman of the CBSE and the Chief Minister’s cell with her grievances, she is yet to get an acknowledgement. – The Pioneer, 6 November 2012

SBOA School Contact & Website

4 Responses

  1. Apparently you have not read the article. Abirami says:

    She said that though the school was launched by the State Bank of India Officers Association, it has turned out to be a Christian management school. “Only Christian prayers are allowed in the school assembly though majority of the students are from the Hindu community. It was only on the day of the chemistry examination that I took part in the school assembly and recited the prayer. My intention was to recite prayers for the benefit of students belonging to all religions,” said Abirami.

    The school is no longer a secular institution. It has been completely christianised by the teachers and management who proselytise the captive Hindu students with Christian prayers.

    If the Christian teachers can say Christian prayers at the school assembly, why can’t a Hindu teacher repeat a Hindu prayer at an assembly–especially when the majority of students are Hindus?

    If the teacher has made a mistake, why hasn’t her case been investigated, decided and closed? Why is it still pending after a year?

    Very obviously the school’s Christian management and teachers are in the wrong on this issue. The SBI trustees should have them all removed and the Hindu teacher re-instated and compensated for the grievous wrong done to her.

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  2. This Chemistry Teacher had made a mistake by chanting a mantra without getting permission. This should have been done after getting permission from assembly in-charge teachers since it is a secular school. So we cannot blame the vice principal for that. Its the Chemistry teacher’s fault.
    .

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  3. tolerance for every religion should be there

    really shame on the management, and, the Management of the SBI Trust

    did not expect this sort from any management, a prayer is a prayer to whom soever made, no question of any religion-even we used ta say AMEN after our prayers, never thought them to be CHRISTIAN OR HINDU, these sort of action by staunch management gives rise to these sort of things.

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  4. A close look at the SBOA School website indicates that this is not a secular school at all. All positions of authority and management are held by Christian teachers only. Given the fanatic nature of the Indian Christian, it is not surprising that these teachers use their positions of authority to proselytise the Hindu students.

    The SBI Officers’ Association and the trust that runs this school should look into this matter of religious discrimination very closely and correct the gross mismanagement of the school.

    The parents of the Hindu students should also protest. It is a weakness among Hindus that if they see some material gain for themselves or their children, they will put up with discrimination from the minority community.

    Hindus should develop their own schools and not subject their children to this kind of religious abuse from Christian teachers. If they insist on their children going to a Christian school, they should also insist on equal treatment. They can send their protests to the School Principal Mrs. P.C. Selvarani at email sboajc@gmail.com or call 044-26151145.

    Indian Christians are known for their intolerance and narrow-mindedness. Even the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a pro-Christian reference, notes the prevailing religious bigotry in the Indian Christian community and especially among Protestant Evangelicals.

    Lastly, why is the State Bank of India management and the CBSE silent in this matter which has been pending for nine months now?

    Register your protest with the CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi at chmn-cbse@nic.in and with the CBSE Secretary Dr (Mrs) Veera Gupta at secy-cbse@nic.in.

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