Shri Jay Lakhani, Head of the Hindu Academy and Education Director for the Hindu Council UK, has been appointed as part time Hindu tutor at Eton College. Shri Lakhani'srole will be to provide pastoral support and religious teaching to Hindu boys at the college, and contribute to school inter-faith activities.
Because religion plays an important role at Eton, all boys are expected to take part in weekday chapel services. For many years Jewish boys have been able to take instruction from a Jewish tutor during Sunday Chapel and, for the last four years, the College has had a Muslim tutor to offer the same service to Muslim boys. The appointment of Shri Jay Lakhani means Hindu boys will now be offered the same choice.
The series of events leading to Shri Lakhani'sappointment began when the Head of Divinity, Michael Wilcockson, met Shri Jay at a conference for religious education teachers earlier this year.
?I asked him to give a talk on science and Hinduism to our philosophy society, which so impressed the Hindu boys, they asked if they could have him as their Hindu tutor,? explains Shri Wilcockson. ?I thought this was an excellent idea, feeling Jay would fit in superbly with our Jewish and Muslim tutors because his views on other faiths are so inclusive. He is always intellectually robust, which tutors have to be here, and passionate about his own faith tradition. I approached the Provost and the Head Master, who were equally supportive of the idea, and so Jay is to hold his first session on April 20.?
Mr Lakhani, who is also a Director of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales, says: ?I see this as an exciting opportunity to explore a broader vision of spirituality with the boys at Eton College, particularly how the Hindu idea of spiritual humanism manages to reconcile differences between religious and secular world-views. Religious pluralism offers the best prescription for making religions once again the cohesive force in our society. It is wonderful to see Eton College embracing these wider aspects of personal and spiritual development.?