The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre over a plea that questions the compulsory recital of Hindi and Sanskrit prayers in state-run Kendriya Vidyalaya schools with folded hands and closed eyes.
The PIL filed by an advocate alleges that school prayers in the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools propagate Hinduism, which should not be allowed as they are run by the government bound by the Constitution, which is secular.
“All the students irrespective of their faith and belief, have to compulsorily attend the morning assembly and recite the prayer,” the petitioner said.
The apex court has now sent a notice to the Central govt, seeking to know if the 1,094 schools that are run by the Central govt promote a particular religion and violate the constitution.
The constitution of India, it may be noted, allows the citizens to follow religion of one’s choice or remain an atheist. Article 28 of the Constitution says “No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.”
“It is a very important constitutional issue,” The Hindustan Times quoted a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman as saying.
In May last year, the apex court rejected a petition seeking to direct the Centre, states and union territories to make Hindi compulsory for students of class I-VIII across the country to promote unity and national integration.
“In order to promote fraternity, assuring dignity of individual and unity and national integration, study of Hindi should be compulsory for all the students of I-VIII standard through the country,” the plea by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, Delhi BJP spokesperson said