A local school in Karnataka’s Udupi district faced opposition from Hindutva organisations for singing Azan while conducting an inter-school taluk-level sports day on Tuesday.
The school – Mother Teresa Memorial School – was conducting Swarnadhama Prarthana where students sang and performed songs from all three religions – Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.
The event was telecasted live on the school’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
However, the event was disrupted by right-wing organisations who questioned the school authorities about their objective of playing the Azan.
The Hindutva outfit staged a protest at a junction in Shankaranarayana alleging that Hindu students were “forced to perform to Azan” during a sports meet. The agitators also warned the organisers not to hurt the feelings of Hindus.
In a video that surfaced on Twitter, a Hindutva leader can be seen speaking, rudely, to the founder of the school, Shamita. “Why is there no national anthem being played? You should accept that playing the Azan was a mistake,” the Hindutva leader said.
As Shamita tried to calm the situation, she apologised and accepted that playing the Azan was a ‘mistake’. The Hindutva workers made a video where Shamita can be seen apologising.
Siasat.com spoke to Shamita on Wednesday who repeatedly said that the intention of playing the Swarnadhama Prarthana was not to offend any religion.
“We have students from all religions in our school. The Swarnadhama Prarthana has been performed many times in the past. It starts with the recital of Om, followed by church bells and concludes with the Azan. We never faced any difficulties,” Shamita told Siasat.com.
However, she repeated her earlier statement that playing the Azan was a mistake. “The school management has decided not to play the Azan henceforth. We will be only playing Hindu and Christian prayers and the national anthem,” she said.