A video of teachers and students singing Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, a devotional song popularised by Mahatma Gandhi, at a government school in Jammu and Kashmir is being shared on social media with false communal claims that teachers are indoctrinating students against Islam.
The video shows a group of teachers singing the bhajan, as boys and girls in school uniforms and burkhas respectively, join in the prayer service.
BOOM found that the prayer ceremony took place in Government High School, Nagam, Kulgam following a Jammu & Kashmir School Education Department directive to celebrate the 153rd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The caption with the video reads, "Wellcome to New Kashmir what is happing in kashmir nowadays ya Allah save our future generation from the enemies of islam parents must look teachers are doing this for their benifit". (sic)
Click here to view the post.
Click here to view the post.
The same video was shared by former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti with claims that school children were directed to sing Hindu hymns. Mufti also hit out at the Central government for their 'Hindutva agenda.' Here is the archive of Mufti's tweet.
BOOM noticed a board during the first few seconds of the viral video which reads "Govt. High School Nagam Kulgam Zone D.H Pora". The board also mentioned the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) code of the school as 01200703501.
The board from the screengrab of the viral video can be seen below.
Taking a cue, we reached out to Fayaz, a teacher from the school to know details about the event.
Speaking to BOOM, Fayaz confirmed the viral video is of an event which happened in their school as per the directive of a Jammu and Kashmir government order to celebrate the 153rd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Fayaz told BOOM, "As per the order, the event took place on September 13. The video was recorded as an evidence of the activity which happened in our school. We are required to send the photos and videos of any activity that takes place in the school to the higher authorities. This activity happened in other schools as well. We had to sing the bhajan Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram Ishwar Allah Tero Naam song as part of the 'All Faith Prayer' event on that day."
According to a Times Now report, the Jammu & Kashmir School Education Department had recently issued a notice to schools to celebrate the 153rd Gandhi Jayanti through activities planned around the month. The notice included a schedule mentioning several school activities such as cleanliness drive for school students, singing songs based on Gandhian ideology with effect from September 5 to October 2 this year.
The teacher also sent BOOM a copy of the government notice the school received related to the event. The notice, issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Government's School Education Department, directed every school to organise the 'All Faith Prayer' event on September 13 as part of the month long event. The Raghu Pati Raghav Raja Ram Ishwar Allah Tero Naam was supposed to be organised in the schools of the state on the same day.
It can be seen below.
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