news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute| June 27, 2014| 12.30 pm IST The transfer of Cotton Girls High School principal Urmila Devi by the Kerala government has snowballed into a huge controversy. Urmila Devi was transferred after she rebuked Kerala Education Abdu Rabb over reaching late to an event. Abdu Rabb however maintains that he had informed the school he would reach late and the Principal was arrogant and arrogant people should not be leading a prestigious institution like Cotton Girls School. But the issue has now turned into a political and caste based slander match. The opposition in Kerala walked out of the assembly for two days demanding the government take back the transfer. Left leader Pinarayi Vijayan says the Chief Minister is shielding Abdu Rabb, a Muslim League leader, purely based on political compulsions. CPM leader Sivankutty who raised the question in the assembly said, “‘’Is Abdu Rabb a minister or a king? The principal HM belongs to the Dalit community. She suffers from cancer and her husband is a heart patient.” With these two comments the issue has spiralled into a debate of caste vs caste, politics vs politics. The minister uploaded a Facebook post on Thursday saying when he reached the event an hour late, as prior informed, the gates were shut and his gunman had to open the gate. Immediately a Facebook user called Justin Jes Thomas asked if the principal was transferred for not opening the gate, to which the minister replied that in a country where ‘Athithi Daivo Bhava’, it was wrong to have treated him so. On his Facebook posts justifying his stand on the transfer, some comments from readers talk about the Dalit and Muslim angle, some critiquing the Principal of evoking her ‘Dalit’ status, while others rebuked the ‘Muslim’ minister for acting against a Dalit principal. While many ranted about the non-issues, most were quick to point out the core problems. One Facebook user Nayib EM reminded the minister that this was not a feudal system and the sky would not come crashing down if no one welcomed him at an event. Another reader Noush Var questioned the minister on his comment on a TV channel that he was not the first minister to have reached late. Users like Sudheesh Krishna and Anish Manmadhan also reminded the minister that he was supposed to serve the people, not rule over them!And that is perhaps the point politicians have missed. The issue is not about political affiliations and caste… it is about the feudal mindset that ministers are no less than rulers.

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