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Dismissed teacher left knocking on CBSE doors

R Abhirami, a former teacher with a private school in Anna Nagar, has been out of work for over 18 months after being suspended, and later dismissed, for allegedly chanting multi-faith prayer in the school where Christian prayer was the norm.

Published: 30th September 2013 08:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2013 08:07 AM   |  A+A-

R Abhirami, a former teacher with a private school in Anna Nagar, has been out of work for over 18 months after being suspended, and later dismissed, for allegedly chanting multi-faith prayer in the school where Christian prayer was the norm. Abhirami has been knocking on every door possible, including that of the CBSE, to get back to work. But in spite of an order from the Board calling for a Disciplinary Committee to look into the matter, months of wait seems to have yielded no results to the teacher.

It all started with a morning prayer in the Anna Nagar school in March 2012. Abhirami, a chemistry teacher at the school, volunteered to be part of the prayer. “I wanted to recite a multi-faith prayer. But as soon as I had started with the Hindu prayer, some other teachers pushed me aside and snatched the microphone. I did not budge but continued with my prayers. It is a secular school. If they didn’t like me reciting the prayers they could have called me and spoken to me, instead of behaving in this manner,” said Abhirami.

The news of the incident spread soon, and by evening there were several Hindu political and religious groups protesting outside the school. By the end of the day, the teacher was suspended for violating the school’s code of conduct. After about a year, in February 2013, the suspension turned into a dismissal.

From then on Abhirami has been approaching the CBSE. “I have approached every office for justice. The internal enquiry and other procedures have all been conducted by the same people who suspended and dismissed me. So, the only way to get help is through the CBSE. Despite the Board issuing an order calling for disciplinary committee to look into the issue, there has been no response. The school principal has also been given a national award by the CBSE even as my appeal is pending. How can I hope to get justice in such a scenario?” asks Abhirami.

The CBSE, meanwhile, defended its position saying that the delay is only procedural. “The CBSE does not have any interest in the matter. The delay is because the person who was entrusted with the disciplinary committee has backed out of it. Also, the award has been given to the principal based on her record. As long as she is not convicted or accused, there is nothing against giving her the award,” said Sudarshan Rao, Regional Officer, CBSE, Chennai.



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