Do Kendriya Vidyalayas promote Hinduism? SC seeks response from Centre

Do school prayers in Kendriya Vidyalayas promote Hinduism? Supreme Courts asks Centre

The Supreme Court of India

The plea, filed by Madhya Pradesh resident Veenayak Shah, claimed that students irrespective of their faith and belief were asked to compulsorily recite a prayer based on the Hindu religion at the morning assembly.

The PIL questioned if public institutes could promote a particular religion and said the prayers should be discontinued since the schools are run by the government.

The prayer is "constitutionally impermissible", says the petition, adding that institutions funded by the state can not propagate Hinduism like this. "There is no scientific reason to call this prayer beneficial, so it should be scrapped", said the lawyer. Besides, it was constitutionally impermissible as it was being enforced on children of the minority communities as well as atheists and others, the petitioner stated.

He said that if any student failing to do fold hands, closing eyes and reciting the prayer, then they were punished and humiliated in front of the entire school.

Providing for a common prayer and common uniform, Article 92 of the Code spells out the conduct and procedure in which the morning assembly is to be carried out in 1,125 Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country.

The court termed it as a "serious constitutional matter", and will now decide whether or not the Hind prayer sung in over 1,100 KVs across India promote a particular and violated the Constitution.

The court had noted that advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who had petitioned it for this directive, was also spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party's Delhi unit.

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