Teachers at a school in Ahmedabad asked students to write congratulatory postcards for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in support to the Citizenship Amendment Act, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. The school apologised to parents, who protested against the exercise on Wednesday.
The message that teachers at Little Star School allegedly asked students to sign on Tuesday was: “Congratulations. I, citizen of India, congratulate honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for CAA. I and my family support this act.”
Teachers wrote the text on blackboards and asked students to copy it on postcards, parents alleged. The students were asked to mark the address of the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi on the postcards and submit them. Students from Class 5 to Class 10 were involved in the exercise. A parent alleged that students from Class 10 were threatened with losing grades in internal examinations they were currently taking if they did not write the postcards.
“My daughter studies in Class 6,” a parent told The Indian Express. “I got to know on Tuesday evening that her teacher had asked the entire class to write congratulatory messages in support of CAA to Modi. My child doesn’t understand the issue. She is being forced to be a part of it, which is unacceptable to us.”
Dozens of parents went to the office of the school’s owner to protest against the exercise on Wednesday afternoon. The school management apologised and called it a “misunderstanding”. Authorities returned the postcards to the parents, who tore them up.
The school management denied the exercise was conducted under any political party’s influence. “The issue has been sorted out, it was a case of misuse of authority by some teachers who conducted the exercise in some classes on Tuesday without my knowledge,” the owner, Jinesh Parasram, told the newspaper. “We returned the postcards to the parents, and they tore them up.”
A similar report from Ahmedabad last week had quoted a school principal as saying that the postcards were provided by Bharatiya Janata Party workers. Archit Bhatt, principal of Tripada School, where 800 students wrote pro-CAA postcards, told The Times of India that members of the BJP had approached the school and sought the help of the students.