Rowdy protesters of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) youth wing on Monday forced Symbiosis Nursery School to cancel its Eid celebrations.
The school authorities mailed the parents of the children and requested them to send their wards in Muslim attire like ‘pathani’ and ‘sharara’ and this raised the eyebrows of the politicos.
The school, however, says that this reeks of intolerance as the same group never protested when the students were asked to come dressed during other festivals.
On October 11, principal of Symbiosis Nursery School, Ashwini Deshmane had emailed parents of the pupils and requested them to send their children in Muslim attire on October 15 to celebrate the special assembly on Bakri Eid.
The mail specified that boys will wear zabba, pyjama, pathani, white round cap (skull cap), mojari or simple sandals and girls will come in colourful anarkali or sharara, bangles, without bindi and any fancy footwear and mehendi on palm if possible.
Ganesh Ghosh, president of Bhartiya Yuva Morcha, said, “We protested because teaching children about a particular religion is not a good thing. Some parents complained to us about it. Hence, we decided to take up the cause and sent a letter of protest to the principal.”
Ganesh said, “When the school persisted in going ahead, we decided to stop the programme.”
Vidya Yeravdekar, director of Symbiosis Group of Institutions, condemned the act and said that it reeked of intolerance. “When we organise similar functions to celebrate festivities of other religions and cultures, such protests never happen. So why protest about kids celebrating just one community’s festival or dressing up like that? We celebrate all festivals at the school level to sensitise students about other religions and promote harmony.”
She added that she was not in the city when the protesters arrived at the school and the principal got scared and decided to cancel the festivities keeping the safety of students in mind.