Karnataka convent row: School backs sacked teacher, denies religious conversion

The concerned teacher, Sister Prabha, was sacked after a complaint lodged by a parent of a student alleging the teacher of religious conversion, calling Lord Ram a mythological figure.

Nearly a week after a convent school teacher was sacked for allegedly insulting Hindu gods, the St Gerosa English Higher Primary School in Mangaluru raised concerns and questions in which the investigations were conducted.

Sister Prabha was sacked after a complaint lodged by a parent of a student alleging the teacher of religious conversion, calling Lord Ram a mythological figure, spread misinformation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and spoke about the 2002 Godhra Riots and Bilkis Bano case, causing “disturbance to students’ minds.”

On February 15, an FIR was filed against two BJP MLAs, BJP MLA from Dakshin Kannada Vedavyas Kamath in connection with staging a protest to condemn the alleged incident of “humiliation of Hindu gods” at the convent school.

MS Education Academy

Kamath along with Hindutva groups Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) protested in front of the school demanding an immediate termination of the teacher, Sister Prabha.

Following the incident, a delegation of the Congress party leaders led by former minister Ramanath Rai visited the school. The school authorities complained that the BJP MLAs had issued statements that would pit Hindus and Christians against each other.

Now the school authorities have come out with their press statement stating that Sister Prabha firmly denies the accusation against her.

According to a statement issued by the school, she was teaching about revered poet and intellectual Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Work is Worship,’, with a specific emphasis on respecting all religions.

The interpretation included the following key points:

  1. Clarification that temples, churches, and mosques are physical structures, and God resides in human hearts, discouraging harm to individuals in the name of religion.
  2. Encouraging respect for work and recognizing the divine in fellow human beings.
  3. Highlighting that God exists within people, and everyone is a temple of God.

The school management alleged that a complaint was filed with the district administration by an anonymous person whose audio message had gone viral.

“It is still not clear if the person in the viral audio is a parent of a student of this school. ⁠If not, what is their agenda behind making such allegations? ⁠And if they are a parent why didn’t they give a written complaint to the school management rather than escalating the matter?” the statement read.

The school authority alleged that a conspiracy was framed to tarnish the image of the school. “St Gerosa English Higher Primary School imparts quality education with minimum fees. We being secular in our outlook always respect all students and do not discriminate against anyone based on caste, creed or religion. Every year we celebrate Deepavali, Christmas and Eid,” it read.

“Sister Prabha did not make any derogatory remarks against any religion or particular individual, including Hinduism or PM Modi,” the statement concluded.

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