Why a common Hindu prayer in Kendriya Vidyalayas? SC's notice to Centre

Do Kendriya Vidyalayas promote Hinduism? SC seeks response from Centre

Do Kendriya Vidyalayas promote Hinduism? SC seeks response from Centre

An advocate Veenayak Shah whose children graduated from a Kendriya Vidyalaya filed the petition.

The first prayer, he pointed out, started with the verse "Asato ma sat gamaya, tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, mrityoma amritam gamaya, Om, shanti, shanti, shantihi!" and ended with "Om, saha navavathu saha nau bhunaktu, saha veryam karavav hain..." "There is no scientific reason to call this prayer beneficial, so it should be scrapped", said the lawyer.

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 huge priority and instilled as a thought-process among the students.

Under Article 19, students can't be forced to recite the prayer, it argued. There are approximately 11 lakh students enroled in these schools.


The prayer is "constitutionally impermissible", says the petition, adding that institutions funded by the state can not propagate Hinduism like this.

While issuing a notice to Centre, the court observes that it was a serious Constitutional issue. As a result, parents and children of minority communities as well as atheists and others who do not agree with this system of prayer such as agnostics, sceptics and rationalists "would find the imposition of this prayer constitutionally impermissible", he added.

The apex court has now sent a notice to the Central govt, seeking to know if the 1,094 schools that are run by the Central govt promote a particular religion and violate the constitution.

The prayers have been in place for several decades.

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