Hindu activists protested against ‘Azan’ performance in Public school

6:22 PM, Wednesday, November 16th, 2022


Udupi : Hindu activists protested against the authorities of a private school in Shankaranarayana in Kundapura of Udupi district after students staged a performance of ‘Azan’ (Muslim prayer).

Following the incident, the school authorities have tendered an apology.

The Mother Teresa Memorial School in Shankaranarayana had hosted Kundapura taluk-level primary and high school sports meet at the playground of a Government PU College on Tuesday.

School co-founder Shamitha said “the students were performing prayer songs on the theme ‘sarva dharma’ (all religions). Accordingly, the dance started with chanting ‘Om’ and later featured the bell of a church and continued with Azan. The dance ended with asathoma sadgamaya…”

“It was our mistake for having chosen Azan. We had no intention to hurt the sentiments of the people. Utmost care will be taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the school,” she added.

“The 25-year-old school has been playing ‘gayathri mantra’ when children enter the school premises daily through our intercom system. Later, we play national anthem at 9.09 am before the commencement of the classes. We have been giving emphasis to communal harmony in the vicinity,” she said.

Umesh Shetty, former taluk panchayat member said, “I was at the stage when the students performed and we objected to it immediately. We did not want to stage a protest there itself as there were a large number of students at the venue and we did not want to raise the issue of religion in front of them.”

Pro-Hindu activists staged a protest at Shankaranarayana on Wednesday condemning the incident and submitted a complaint to the BEO to ensure that such incidents do not occur again in the taluk. “We raised an objection to making Hindu students dance for Azan,” activists said.

When asked about the incident, the Udupi DDPI, N K Shivaraj, said, “the school authorities have clarified that the purpose of making the students dance for Azan was to observe religious harmony. It aimed only at showcasing harmony and nothing else.”

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