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‘Not Indian language’ — VHP tells Travancore Devaswom Board not to appoint Arabic teachers

Travancore Devaswom Board says Arabic has been taught for several years, and the decision to appoint an Arabic teacher isn’t new.

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New Delhi: Pointing out that Arabic is not an Indian language, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has asked the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) to withdraw its order of appointing Arabic teachers in schools that the board runs in Kerala.

In a statement Wednesday, VHP working president Alok Kumar said the management should instead appoint Sanskrit teachers. He argued that Arabic is not in the schedule of Indian languages in the Constitution of India and is “studied more for reading, understanding and memorizing the Holy Quran”.

“TDB should appoint Sanskrit teachers, not Arabic. VHP is surprised to learn that the Travancore Devaswom Board is appointing Arabic teachers in the schools which come under its management in Kerala,” said Kumar.

He also said the teaching of the Arabic language is “not for religious and charitable purposes of the Hindus”. “The teaching of this language in the schools managed from the funds offered by the Hindu Devotees in the Temples is thus an inappropriate expense,” Kumar said.

“Their (Hindus) money, offered by them to the deities, should not go for the teaching of the Arabic language. VHP further suggests that the Sanskrit language is the depository of the Bharatiya Spiritual Heritage and its teaching should be made mandatory in the schools run by the Travancore Devaswom Board,” the statement added.

However, TDB president N. Vasu told ThePrint that Arabic is being taught in only one of the board-run schools in a Muslim dominated area. He said it has been taught for several years, adding that the decision to appoint a teacher isn’t new.

“The teacher who taught Arabic retired and hence we are in the process of appointing a new one. Merit list has been announced but appointment has not been done. I don’t understand why it is being made into an issue,” he said.

The board runs around 30 schools in Kerala.

Also read: Ram temple ceremony a BJP-RSS event, party stealing credit — Congress over not being invited

‘Left government attack on Hindus’

However, Kumar termed the decision as “yet another attack by the nominees of the left front government of Kerala upon the Hindus”.

“It must be told that the Travancore Devaswom Board is constituted under the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1950. This Board has three members, two of whom are elected by Hindu members of the Council of Ministers of Kerala and the third member by the Hindu members of the Legislative Assembly of Kerala,” he said.

“Obviously, all the three members are thus, the nominees of the ruling party of the State,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Condemning the decision, he called upon the Board to withdraw the order and urged the people of Kerala to fight against it.

Also read: Late VHP leader Ashok Singhal’s nephew to sit with PM Modi for Ram temple’s ‘bhoomi pujan’


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  1. Really surprised on why TDB president N. Vasu surprised on hindus objection. Is TDB secular organization or religious? Why not sanskrit where all hindu mantras are in Sanskrit. I understand their urge to server their Secular masters but please maintain some decency

  2. That precisely is the motive behind govt control over Hindu religious institutions.
    In this manner, the offerings of the devout Hindus can quite conveniently be channelized to impose “secularism” on our society. Hard earned and faithfully donated to the presiding deity, wealth is being spent on propagating Arabic language.
    Has anyone heard of any Muslim religious institution in Iran/Saudi Arabia appointing Sanskrit teachers and including Sanskrit in the curriculum?

    • Ms Swagata Singh: Admittedly, diverting donations from Hindu devotees to schools where Arabic is taught for religious purposes is fraught with all sorts of dangers in these prickly Hindutva times. Clearly, even in relatively tolerant Kerala where Hindutva and the BJP have been sent packing, North Indian cretins like Alok Kumar of the VHP are capable of stoking trouble where there was none.

      In any case Ms Swagata Singh, North Indians like you and your mentor in the VHP Alok Singh ought to realise a critical facts about India’s economy which relies heavily on remittances from workers outside the country:

      In 2018, according to World Bank Data, India received USd 79 Billions in remittances, see ref:
      54% of India’s remittances came from the Arab speaking countries of the Middle-East and the wider Gulf region.
      Roughly 9 million Indians work in the Gulf
      Roughly 20% of remittances – a large chunk from the Gulf – flow to Kerala

      Under these circumstances, tell me whether there will be demand for Sanskrit or for Arabic ? After all, many migrants in the Gulf do try to learn a smattering of Arabic when in the region and indeed regret not having learnt it earlier. Indeed, even my own very Hindu relatives in Dubai ensure that their children learn Arabic at school so as to maximise their prospects of employment. And I am pretty sure that you too would rather have your kids go to English medium schools and have them learn German or French rather than Punjabi or Hindi right?

      BOTTOMLINE: Employment considerations dictate choice of and demand for languages. Few parents would want their wards to study relatively less useful languages such as Latin, Sanskrit or Classical Arabic. Instead, most opt for English, French, German and in the case of Kerala, even Arabic.

      Suggest you get that message across to your dimwit, bigoted bosses in VHP.

  3. What is wrong? When did Arabic become an Indian language? Have we become so enslaved that we have forgotten that Arabic was brought by invaders who came to loot, pillage and plunder this land and then decided to stay and become our rulers instead of invaders. Shame on us. Seems like slavery has become deep rooted in our psyche and thinking.

    • Mr Jaishriram: When did German, French and English become Indian languages? Shouldn’t they also be banned? Although I will caution you that the middle class will be up in arms if you try to do that … After all, if you had walked into a room full of young parents and asked them to raise their hands as to how many would want their children to study in Hindi, Oriya, Marathi or Punjabi medium schools and learn only Indian languages, not many hands would go up right?

      You should get into your saffronised skull that many, if not the vast majority of Indians, including the Hindutva types prepare their children for careers outside India as well as inside India. And the many Keralites who go to the Middle-East will benefit from learning Arabic. After all, once they reach the Middle-East, they do end up learning Arabic don’t they ?

  4. The actual fact is that Arabic is NOT an Indian language. VHP has a point.

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