Delhi Government teacher booked for telling children to “go to Pakistan”, parents demand action

The teacher reportedly made several offensive statements against Muslims in the classroom.
Representation Image

One day following the registration of an FIR against a government school teacher for reportedly making offensive religious comments within an East Delhi classroom, the Delhi government announced on Tuesday that it has established an investigative committee to address the issue, reported PTI.

The government stated, “Guidelines are being issued to teachers and principals to ensure that there is no discrimination based on religion, caste, region, language, and more.”

Authorities have also registered a case against her under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 153. The school teacher in Delhi was booked for allegedly making derogatory remarks against the Kaaba and the Quran within her classroom. Sections of the IPC, including Section 153 A, promoting enmity between different religious groups), Section 295 A (insulting religious beliefs), and Section 298 (intention to wound religious feelings) have been invoked against her.

“The police received a complaint and subsequently filed a case at Gandhi Nagar police station. The investigation is ongoing,” the officer added.

This occurrence comes in the wake of a similar incident in Uttar Pradesh, where a teacher was caught on video for inciting violence against a Muslim student, prompting a nationwide discourse the dangers that marginalised students face while accessing education.

The teacher in question, identified as Hema Gulati, holds a position at Government Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Gandhi Nagar. Journalist Meer Faisal reported for The Observer Post, as the incident came to light after families of Class 9 students raised concerns about the use of derogatory language targeting their Muslim identity and religious convictions. Currently, the Delhi Police are conducting an investigation into these allegations.

According to the Delhi Police, the teacher employed offensive language that wounded the religious sentiments of certain Muslim students. DCP Shahdara, Rohit Meena, affirmed, “We received a complaint about a school teacher using some religious words before students. We have taken note of the issue. Our Juvenile Welfare Officer, along with counsellors, is providing guidance to the affected students. Since there are 2-3 students involved, we are counselling all of them. It is a government school.”

Allegedly, the teacher also remarked, “During the Partition, you chose to stay in India rather than moving to Pakistan. Your contribution to India’s struggle for independence is minimal.” The complaint was officially lodged on a Friday evening, after the councillor of the area was notified.

Demanding the immediate removal of the teacher, families of the students stress that such comments possess the potential to disrupt the harmony within the school environment. An anxious parent conveyed to ANI, “If this teacher faces no consequences, it might set a precedent. Teachers should concentrate solely on teaching and abstain from commenting on topics they lack an understanding of. Having a teacher who fosters division among students is counterproductive. Our request is simple: remove the teacher from the school; she should not be permitted to teach in any institution.”

Anil Kumar Bajpai, a local MLA and a prominent figure in the Aam Aadmi Party, expressed vehement condemnation of the teacher’s behaviour. He stated, “This is entirely unacceptable. A teacher’s foremost duty is to provide quality education to children. Derogatory remarks regarding any religion or sacred place should never come from a teacher. Individuals of this nature should face legal consequences.”

This incident closely follows another controversy that emerged last week when a video emerged from a private school in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar. The video depicted a teacher instructing students to take turns assaulting another student while making derogatory references to his Muslim faith. These incidents have triggered a nationwide dialogue about the pivotal role of educators in fostering respect, tolerance, and diversity within educational institutions. However, the divergences close here because the case in Muzaffarnagar seems to have been held with less sensitivity and diligence, as reports of political and administrative pressure put on the parents of the child have risen. The accused teacher had also refused to be apologetic about her action in a statement to media.

Such incidents will have the tendency lead to increase in dropouts. In fact, recent findings have noted the alarming decline in enrolment of Muslim students in both primary and higher education. Muslims also have one of the highest dropout rates in primary education. The ongoing debate about the hijab ban, which is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court, along with a widespread intimidating socio-political atmosphere, discrimination and violence, all play a role in this decline. Academics have noted that it is important to work on providing specific assistance to marginalised groups and eliminating obstacles to their educational and career progress. Moreover, thus can only be done by ensuring justice is accessible to all members of society. The happenings in Muzaffarnagar and in Delhi reminds us of the need to make the classroom a safe and harmonious place for students.



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