Should School-kids be Sacrificial Goats in Dirty Politics?

April 30, 2022

“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.”- Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910) known by his pen name Mark Twain was an American writer and humourist.)

In USA the national educational hierarchy is headed by Secretary of State for Education and then the ubiquitous school boards. In India there are education ministers at the Centre and States. In principle, these ministers should act as arbiters in any aberration in relationship between ground-level educators and educational officials. But, it does not seem to be working out that way leading educational institutions seeking court intervention for relief. Take, for instance the latest case of Bibles in schools as reflected in the following IANS report from Bangalore dated April 28, 2022.

In the midst of controversy, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Bengaluru Peter Machado said that it is not good to give "Bible colour" to all Christian schools in the state.

Responding to the controversy over the Clarence High School in connection with making Bible compulsory for all students, the archbishop stated it is not possible to separate religion and morality. Clarence High School has a history of 100 years. He further stated that the 75 per cent of the children studying in the school follow Christianity. It is incorrect to charge that the Bible is made compulsory of all students. It is not mandatory for students belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities.

"It is not correct to paint all Christian schools with Bible colour. If the government wants to investigate the matter, let them conduct an inquiry. Let them find out how many children have been converted," he said.

A complaint was filed by a Hindu group alleging that Bible reading is made compulsory for all students and admission is being denied if the consent is not given for students to undergo preaching of Christian religious matters.

Education Minister B C Nagesh has reacted sharply to the issue and stated that he has sent a notice to the school regarding making Bible compulsory. The Department of Education has also given a direction for the Block Education Officers (BEO) to inspect all the Christian institutions in the state regarding the issue of making reading of Bible compulsory for school children.

The point here is that it is below the status and dignity of the minister involved to jump into the fray ab initio and he should have kept in reserve his considerable powers as an arbiter when that stage is reached. His initial jumping into the fray inevitably paves the way to seek relief from court hierarchy where, through his subordinates, he becomes a party to the dispute.

It is not for nothing that public information services and official spokesmen are historically established and are on the government pay-roll even today.

In the midst of many manufactured controversies in the sacred precincts of education, let us conclude with a sobering thought of Ralph Ellison, (1913-1994), American writer and literary critic: “Education is all a matter of building bridges.”

The subject is open to many views. What are yours? Your response in the format given below is welcome. (Pl scroll down a bit). Once again, Welcome To Reason. Over to you.



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By John B Monteiro
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Comment on this article

  • John B Monteiro, Bondel, Mangaluru

    Fri, May 06 2022

    Vishnu Bhat, Mangalore; Ben D'Souza Prabhu, Canada; Daniel, Mangalore: Thank you for your mix of comments which are educative to me.

  • Daniel, Mangalore

    Thu, May 05 2022

    Contd... BTW what is soul ? One might ask. And the answer is one that is animating the box, the body! When one closes his or her eyes, body remains either to be cremated or to be buried or... but soul either returns to God if his or her karmas are good in their earthly life or hell if given hell to others here on earth!

  • Daniel, Mangalore

    Thu, May 05 2022

    GOD is also smart. If someone seeks Him earnestly will find Him. That's why so many scriptures! Someone needs to check which holy scripture speaks about begining of mankind and end. Most of the people do not do research on this. They are happy with their parents' research whether their parents have done or not! or Basically not hurt or offend them. Some have done that. But this is important because eternity at stake. Finally at the close of eyes one lands into different GOD destination from what he is believing, it is both problematic from God and oneself. (For God, a stranger get inside and ensue argument there, in heaven, inspite of given all the time to do that on earth) As almost of all religion believe that a SOUL is Eternal, needs final resting. Following is the famous passage from one great Saint's Confessions “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” ///// So religion and moral studies are important to search and find GOD and pass in One's LAST final exam of life to find REST, IN PEACE!

  • Prabhu, DK/Canada

    Tue, May 03 2022

    What is the purpose of religion? “ It teaches us to live an ethical and moral life” so wrote Sarvapalli RadhaKrishnan Eminent Indian of 19th/20th century, a scholar, academic, author, philosopher , diplomat and president of India. What is in the name? Brahman, Lord in the Heaven, Allah, or what’re ever ….. Does it matter? There are other points of view, for the great faith Buddhism doesn’t even discuss about God and Jainism is atheist in their teaching. Yet give the follower a path and guidance to the follower. So if big boys are so concerned about teaching religion or morality let them make it optional! I studied in a Christian Institution where one has to study a book on “ Moral Studies” . This was some seven decades ago. Nobody forced me to change my way of thinking . One’s personality is the product of parental faith, learning from the society where one lives in, books one reads and company he/she keeps. So let us not be fanatical about these things. Let us place emphasis on learning above all and that makes good citizens and friends! Let us remember what what Gandhi said in his prayers, “. Ishtar, Allah tree nam, subco sanitizer de Bhagavan!”. I rest my case🤗!

  • Ben D'Souza Prabhu, Mangalore, Bombay Bandra now in Canada

    Mon, May 02 2022

    What do you think our dear Mr John B Monteiro ? Certainly Sir, I am with you ! Thanks !!!

  • vishnu bhat, bangalore

    Sat, Apr 30 2022

    when the nation itself is being made a sacrificial goat by majoritarian jingoism and fanaticism, difficult for children to be excluded.

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