Mangaluru North MLA Bharath Shetty on Sunday, February 11, asked Hindus to “reconsider enrolling their children in schools operated by Christian missionaries,” alleging a history of anti-Hindu sentiments within such institutions. This comes after parents of students studying at a school under Christian management in Mangaluru protested against a teacher for allegedly making derogatory ‘anti-Hindu’ comments about the newly constructed Ram temple in Ayodhya and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The incident took place on Thursday, February 8 when the teacher was discussing the ‘work is worship’ chapter with Class 7 students.
Following the allegations, parents along with members of pro-Hindu outfits Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, staged a protest against the school management in Mangaluru on Saturday, February 11. The protest escalated when demonstrators attempted to enter the office of the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI).
To maintain order, over 100 police personnel were deployed to the school and DDPI office premises. Later, the police intervened and assured the protestors that necessary action would be taken against the teacher. DDPI Dayananda R Nayak dispatched Block Resource Centre (BRC) Coordinator Prashanth to the school for an investigation.
The matter came to light after an audio recording of a parent with VHP leader Sharan Pumpwell went viral. In the recording, the parent accused the teacher of making comments that were allegedly disrespectful to religious beliefs. The parents also alleged that similar ‘lessons’ were taught in previous years.
Demanding the suspension of the teacher, Bharath Shetty threatened to hold demonstrations if the school administration failed to act decisively. “Schools that banned girls from wearing bangles and bindis on their foreheads are now spreading hatred against Ram Mandir,” he said. He added, "If the school management fails to initiate strict action against the teacher, protests will be held,” said Bharath.
Mangaluru South MLA Vedavyas Kamath and Sharan Pumpwell urged the DDPI to suspend the teacher immediately and then conduct an investigation.
When TNM contacted Mangaluru South police, they said that they were inquiring into the incident but declined to disclose whether an FIR had been registered.