KOCHI:The Kerala High Court has observed that the objectionable materials included in the textbooks seized from Peace International School were unacceptable to a secular society. The court made the observation while granting bail to accused Dawood Vaid, Sahil Syed and Sameed Ahammed Shaik, natives of Nerul in Navi-Mumbai who published the textbooks.
“It is not known whether the school has recognition from the CBSE. Though several portions of the textbooks were referred to in the prosecution records, one item the court has found really objectionable is the content under ‘activity’ - which is meant to teach children how to become a Muslim. There is no doubt that it is highly objectionable, and cannot be accepted/tolerated in a secular society,” observed the court. It also pointed out that it was not the right way to teach/preach Islam.
“When anything wrong, communal or non-secular is done or taught in institutions, even as part of religious studies, the authorities would have to take appropriate action including cancellation of the institution’s affiliation, said, the court, adding, “The case diary contains a report by the District Educational Office, which indicates that the textbooks were being taught as part of ‘secular curriculum’.”
“There is no doubt that such teachings would defile the minds of children, and also disturb public tranquility.
Communal harmony must, at all costs, be protected, while protecting the right to religion under Article-25 of the Constitution. When a prosecution comes under Section-153-A of the IPC, the accused cannot claim exclusive privilege and right under Article-25 of the Constitution, because the person and the rights are always subject to public interest, public tranquility, and social morality,” stated the order.
The prosecution submitted that the other persons who had taught the controversial materials were yet to be arrested.
While granting bail, the court held that the petitioners should not leave Kerala until the investigation was over.