SC questions school prayer in Kendriya Vidyalayas, sends Centre notice seeking response

Do Kendriya Vidyalayas promote Hinduism? SC seeks response from Centre

The court termed it as a "serious constitutional matter", and will now decide whether or not the Hind prayer sung in over 1,100 KVs across India promote a particular and violated the Constitution.

Reportedly, an advocate filed the petition asserting that state-run institutes can not promote any particular religion.

A PIL against the prayer has been filed by advocate Veenayak Shah, whose children have graduated from KV.

The petitioner said compulsory recitation of "shlokas" rooted in Hindu religion and prayer in morning assembly was contrary to Articles 28 (1), 19 (1)(a) and 25 (1) of the Indian Constitution.

It also pleaded that the practise created obstacles in development scientific temperament among students.

Article 19 (1)(a) says: "All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression".

"The above prayer is being enforced throughout the country in all Kendra Vidhalayas. As a result, parents and children of the minority communities as well as atheists and others who do not agree with this system of prayer such as agnostics, skepticists, rationalists and others would find the imposition of this prayer constitutionally impermissible".

This comes after a PIL was filed in the apex court, alleging that school prayers in Kendriya Vidyalayas propagate Hinduism and they should not be allowed as they are schools run by government.

The petition argued by advocate Pallavi Sharma contended that the practice of prayer created obstacles in developing scientific temperament among students as the whole idea of God and religious faith is given enormous priority and instilled as a thought-process among the students.

The prayers have been in place for several decades.

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