Freedom Under Fire: UP School Segregates Students According to Caste; BJP Wants Akbar Road Renamed

A round-up of news, both bad and good, on the rights front from India.

People participating in Yoga Day 2015 celebrations at Rajpath, New Delhi. Credit: PTI/Atul Yadav

People participating in Yoga Day 2015 celebrations at Rajpath, New Delhi. Credit: PTI/Atul Yadav

UP school segregates students according to caste

An intermediate college in Hathras district, Uttar Pradesh, has introduced a policy to segregate class XI students on caste lines, a report in Catch News says. Each caste group has been allotted a separate classroom. In addition, teachers have been segregated in the same way, with a Dalit teacher teaching SC students, an OBC teacher for OBC students and a general category teacher for upper case students.

Based on complaints, the Hathras district magistrate A.K. Singh has ordered a probe into the matter. The probe will be conducted by the district inspector of schools.

“Prima facie the complaint was found to be true and the principal has been suspended,” Singh said. Further action against the principal will be taken after the completion of inquiry, he added.

Chant ‘Om’ during Yoga Day celebrations, UGC tells varsities

A fresh controversy broke out on Tuesday over the UGC’s directive asking universities and colleges to follow the Ayush ministry’s yoga protocol that begins with chanting of ‘Om’ and some Sanskrit sholakas during Yoga Day celebrations on June 21, Hindustan Times reported

Opposition parties were not pleased with this, seeing it as an insensitive imposition.

“Yoga is a great knowledge of ancient India. It is not something that belongs to BJP. It should be made more acceptable system for the people to practice…Probably this government is unconcerned about these sensitive aspects,” Congress spokesperson P.C. Chako said.

Senior JD(U) leader K.C. Tyagi flayed the government, saying “This is again (an attempt) to impose the communal agenda on Indian masses. We are opposed to that. How can you say to a Muslim, Sikh, Christian to say ‘Om’. For me, I am a Hindu and I have no problem, but how can you ask people of other religion (to do it). This is again communalism… the divisive agenda of RSS. We condemn it.”

BJP wants Akbar Road to be renamed Maharana Pratap Road

The BJP on Wednesday made it clear that it supported party leaders who have recently demanded that Akbar Road in Delhi be renamed Maharana Pratap Road, The Hindu reported. Former Army chief and Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K. Singh wrote to Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu earlier this week asking for the road to be renamed in honour “this great son of India”.

Earlier this month, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had told the news agency ANI that there were “disproportionate number of roads named after Muslim conquerors”, about “33% of roads in Lutyens’ Delhi”. He added that he supported the renaming of Akbar Road.

Last year, Aurangzeb Road was renamed Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Road.

Do you know of any other incident we should highlight in this column? Write to me at [email protected].

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