Students of a Christian school in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol district had to chant Bharat Mata ki Jai on Friday to prove to a probe team sent by the district administration that the slogan had not been banned on the school campus.
The team was sent in the wake of allegations that the management of Good Shepherd Convent Senior Secondary School had, on July 1, replaced the patriotic slogan chanted after the morning assembly with one hailing the school.
“I visited a few classes and asked students to chant the slogan and they did. No one said they had been asked not to chant it,” Shahdol district education officer Umesh Dhurve told The Indian Express.
He said the school also gave a written undertaking that it had not banned the slogan.
School principal Mercelet said the slogan had never been banned, and claimed that the controversy had been created by some people whose children were denied admission to the school.
Quoting some parents, a local newspaper had carried a report on Tuesday alleging that the slogan had been banned in the school ever since July 1. The news report quoted the school vice-principal as having said that the slogan had been replaced following instructions from the management.
Shahdol Collector Mukesh Kumar said he had ordered a suo motu inquiry after reading the news report.
Asked for clarification, the principal said her deputy had been misquoted.
Dhurve said the vice-principal is not fluent in Hindi, which may have led to the confusion. The officer also sided with the school management on the “admission issue”, saying that schools are always under pressure to admit students.
Kumar, too, said he was satisfied with the school management’s written explanation.
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