Bengaluru school allegedly forcing students to read Bible, probe launched

Memorandum submitted by HJS to the education minister for taking action !

On right- B. C. Nagesh discussing with Mr Mohan Gowda and other devout Hindu activists

Bengaluru (Karnataka) : Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) delegation met the State education minister B. C. Nagesh in connection with the matter of compulsion on all students to read the Bible at Clarence High School. HJS Karnataka State coordinator Mohan Gowda informed about submitting a memorandum to B. C. Nagesh against the compulsion of teaching the Bible to students. Nagesh ordered an inquiry into the matter and promised to take action immediately on receipt of the report.

Sign Petition : Govt must crack down on Convent schools for promoting religious conversion

Mr Gowda said further that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked the Bengaluru District Collector to take legal action in the Clarence matter. HJS is waiting for the action of the District Collector and education minister. Thereafter, HJS plans to give a legal fight. He said that HJS has also demanded that it should be investigated not only at Clarence High School, but also at all other convent schools whether similar incidents of conversions or teaching Bible to students are happening and the concerned people should be punished.

Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh on Monday took cognizance of the incident and sought a response from the institution.

“Whatever decision was taken by the school is wrong. It is against rules. Karnataka State Education Act clearly says that no school can teach religious books or practices. Don’t know why the school forced students to take Bible along,” said Nagesh

“The school has clearly specified Bible on its website. A reply is awaited…Will take action after seeking opinion from the legal department,” the minister added.

Compulsion of Bible by Clarence High School, Bengaluru is a ploy to convert students ! – Hindu Janajagruti Samiti

25th April 2022

Many Christian convent schools in South India are forcing Hindu students to learn the Bible. It is claimed that such a provision is one of the conditions for admission to schools, but a rule of any private school cannot supersede the Indian Constitution which allows freedom to every citizen to follow his own religion; therefore, forcing him to learn the Bible is ultra-vires of the Constitution. Similarly, compulsion by Clarence High School of Bengaluru, Karnataka is a conspiracy for conversion of students, claimed Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.

Giving admission to non-Christian students in a convent school and then putting a condition that it is compulsory to learn Bible is unethical and against the law. Children go to school to study and not to learn Bible. There is a church to learn Bible. Schools are educational institutes and not religious organisations and convent schools should keep this in mind. Article 25 of the Indian Constitution gives freedom to all citizens to follow their own religions, and still forcing Hindu students to learn the Bible is unconstitutional.

It is quite ridiculous to claim that teaching Bible to small, minor children is to make them into ideal citizens, because why only Bible should be taught to be an ideal citizen? Why Hindu students shouldn’t be taught ‘Bhagavat Geeta’? Also, why should atheist Christian students and those, who do not want to learn Bible, should be forced to learn Bible? Is it not against their individual freedom? The Principal of this School says that the compulsion to learn the Bibleis an old rule of the school; therefore, it is proper, but Constitution and laws are superior to the school’s rules in our country. The school should be run within the framework of the Constitution and law. The Constitution and laws are not dependent on a school’s rules; therefore, if a rule is against the Constitution, it has to be changed. It cannot be considered right just because it is old.

These same convent schools oppose the celebration of 21stJune as a ‘Yoga Day’ because they say that it is related to religion. ‘Yoga Day’ is celebrated in the whole world by other Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist countries, but it is opposed in India claiming that it is a Hindu tradition and schools are secular. Then, in a secular country, how can Bible be made compulsory? Convent schools should, therefore, stop the propagation of Christianity under the guise of compulsion of learning the Bible; else it would be strongly opposed. Karnataka Government and the Education Department should take strict action against convent schools for such enforced propagation of Christianity and show the concerned people that law is supreme in the State, demanded HJS.

The new directive has drawn reactions from the Hindu groups which have called it a violation of Karnataka education act. The group alleges that religious education is being imposed on the students against their will.

They have also urged the education department to act against the school.

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti accuses Clarence High School of imposing Bible on Non-Christians

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti State Spokesperson Mohan Gowda alleged that the Clarence High School in Bengaluru is forcing non-Christian students to read the Bible compulsorily in the school.

Mohan Gowda said, “Students whoever gets admission in Clarence School should read, carry, learn Bible and it is compulsory. In the school admission application form, they had mentioned about that. There are also non-Christian students who are studying in the school and are forcefully made to learn Bible.”

“It is a violation of Article 25 & 30 of Indian Constitution. There are also guidelines from Supreme Court that education institutions cannot enforce religious teachings on any students,” said Mohan Gowda.

All Muslim, Christian & Hindu parents give an undertaking that students will carry & read the Bible: Bishop PK Samuel

Many Christian religious leaders claim that the practice has been existing for many years now. Bishop of Church of South India Rev. Dr. Prasana Kumar Samuel said, “The compulsion of reading Bible in Clarence schools is there for ages. It is not something new which has come up now and we don’t know why they are making it compulsory in that institution. All Muslims, Christians and Hindus parents give an undertaking that they will carry the Bible and read the Bible.”

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti will submit a complaint to the Primary Education Minister and if the government doesn’t act on their complaint, HJS will file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the court.

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