A sports day event at a private school in Udupi district of Karnataka was disrupted by pro-Hindu outfits, which objected to students performing on azan during the inaugural programme. The protesters said the performance was “anti-Hindu” and had hurt religious sentiments of the community, forcing the principal to apologise.
Students of Mother Teresa Memorial School performed prayer songs as part of a welcome dance from three religions – Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam – to send out a message of communal harmony at the inaugural event of the zonal-level sports meet, which was presided over by BJP leader Umesh Shetty.
As the video went viral on social media, pro-Hindu outfits arrived at the spot and disrupted the programme. They said this hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus and demanded an apology from the school authorities. They also demanded names of the girl students who had performed on azan.
Facing severe backlash, school principal Shamitha was forced to apologise to the right-wing outfits. Despite an apology, however, these groups held massive protests across Kundapur taluk, alleging the school to be “anti-Hindu”.
The Hindu Jagaran Samiti alleged that the school management had allowed students to wear hijab, but objected to wearing kumkum and bangles and kept copies of the Quran and Bible.
Speaking to News 18, the principal refuted the allegations. “There have been no such restrictions over the past 25 years, be it for students or teachers. We have never laid restrictions on religious symbols or identities on our school premises. We celebrate Deepawali, Ashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi, there have been no such restrictions in our school,” the principal said.
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