A government school Headmistress refused to hoist national flag on the 15th August and another hoisted a flag with “Jesus bless India” at the centre of the flag citing religious grounds.
While the entire nation has been celebrating its 75th year of Independence, the stand of R Tamil Selvi (59), headmistress of a government high school at Pedrahalli village near Indur in Dharmapuri district refusing to hoist the national tricolor flag based on her religious orientation, shocked one and all.
When invited to hoist the flag, Tamil Selvi refused instead asked a teacher to go and hoist the flag. She told villagers that she did not want to hoist the national flag because she belonged to the Jehovah’s Witness organization and saluting the flag was against her religious beliefs.
She had said that she can offer salute only to her God (Jesus Christ) and not anything else as that is the order of the God and rule of the Bible. She said in a video that went viral, “I go by the bible. Jesus is the supreme God. I will not pray another other. When it comes to worship, Jesus is the ultimate. There is a national Anthem and national prayer which are against our tenets. “I respect only my God’s law. I’m firm that a salute should be offered only to my God.” According to locals, she refused to do so in the past four years citing the same reasons. She was quoted saying in a report and added that she respects the national flag and meant no disrespect through her actions”. Villagers insisted that she should hoist the flag as she would be retiring this year. Tamil Selvi also refused to recite Thirukkural on the same grounds. Another teacher of the school, Murugan finally hoisted the flag.
The villagers said that the teacher had insulted the national flag and was bringing religious politics into the school.
Based on a petition by the villagers, Chief Education Officer Chandrasekaran ordered District Educational officer M Rajagopal to inquire into the incident and submit a report within two days. Officials assured that they would take necessary action against the headmistress based on the direction given by the School Education Commissioner K Nandha Kumar. Incidentally this year TN government had ordered the headmasters and headmistresses to hoist the national flag on their school premises.
In another incident, David (34) a zoology teacher working in a govt. school hoisted a national flag in front of his house at Kurinji Nagar in Dharapuram in Tirupur district. In the middle of the tricolour, he pasted a white paper with a words “ Oh! Jesus bless India “. Based on a complaint, police rushed to his house and removed the flag with such wordings.
Earlier, in another event, the police had denied permission to take out tricolor rally as it would pass through churches, mosques and streets dominated by minorities. Recently Madras High Court has said allowing religious intolerance is not good for a secular country and ‘resistance’ by one religious group, if reciprocated by another, could lead to chaos and riots”. Youtuber Kishore Swamy said “Dravidian parties condemned Kanchi Seer when he sat while song on Mother Tamil was being played and at that time there was no rule to standup. When a Christian teacher refuses to hoist the flag none of them condemn or comment on her behavior.”
The often repeated rhetoric’s of CM MK Stalin, his cabinet colleagues and Speaker of the Assembly, “ it is their (Christian and Muslim government) and for you only; we will stand behind you” has emboldened them to such nasty levels of politics on all matters, including hoisting a flag. A pastor’s recent remarks that it was their alms (votes) that helped DMK win. “if they want to follow their own laws, rules and Shariat, they should go and live where they can practice things. Religious belief is different. Nation and its laws are paramount. They should understand this first. Opposing to raise when national anthem is played or refusing to say vande matharam are not healthy ones” said Venkata Subramaniyam of Virugambakkam. All these ani national occurrences would end when appeasement politics stops and Hindus form a vote bank of their own.