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.
‘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.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And have just turned three.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous and questioning journalism. Please click on the link below. Your support will define ThePrint’s future.