‘Tughlaqi Decree’: Rajasthan education minister slammed over suspension of school teacher

Suspended school teacher Hemlata Bairwa meanwhile hoped for support of Dalit community and said she believes in keeping educational institutions secular.

Rajasthan education minister is being condemned for suspending primary school teacher. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Rajasthan education minister is being condemned for suspending primary school teacher. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Vagisha Kaushik | February 25, 2024 | 10:52 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Rajasthan education minister Madan Dilawar is facing criticism for suspending a government school teacher, belonging to the Dalit community, for allegedly disrespecting Goddess Saraswati. A day after the Rajasthan education department issued suspension orders for Hemlata Bairwa posted at government primary school at Lakdai village, people of the state started condemning the minister and called the department’s order a ‘Tughlaqi decree’. Meanwhile, reacting to the suspension order, the teacher said that she respects all Gods but also believes in keeping schools secular.

The primary school teacher has been accused of hurting the sentiments of villagers by refusing to place the goddess’ picture on the Republic Day function this year. The villagers and teacher had ended up in a dispute when the teacher allegedly said the goddess had no contribution in education, as per a PTI report.

“This head will bow in respect of only those who have any contribution in building the country, I respect the Gods of all religions, but I am also in favor of keeping the government educational institutions secular and will remain so. I am sure that my community members will not let my fight weaken. Jai Bheem,” the teacher said in a post on her X (formerly Twitter) account.

'Justice for Hemlata Bairwa'

Various people including MLAs, writers, professors, advocates, and others came to the support of the teacher demanding justice for her and condemned the minister. A writer and BSP supporter wrote on X, “If today we do not stand with an Ambedkarite woman like Hemlata Bairwa, then in the future we will not be able to convey the ideology of Bahujan great men to the common people, we will not be able to tell about them, we will not be able to speak against hypocrisy.”

“On one hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party considers Mata Savitribai Phule as the first woman of education in the country and talks big on her birth anniversary and on her foundation day, but why did the government keep the photograph of Mata Savitribai Phule taken by a teacher on the Republic Day? But after taking action, he was suspended,” said another X user.

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Editor Dilip Mandal questioned the suspension and commented, “It is Savitribai Phule who opened the first girls' school and paved the way for education for girls of all castes. Savitribai Phule is also a fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Why action against Rajasthan teacher Hemlata Bairwa?”

MLA Tika Ram Jully took a jibe at the minister and said, “I condemn the dirty politics of BJP in the temple of education in the state. The way Rajasthan Education Minister Madan Dilawar has shown himself to be the biggest Sanghi of the country by suspending the "Dalit teacher" Hemlata Bairwa of Lakdai School in Baran district! Such actions are highly condemnable! Innocent teacher Hemlata Bairwa was suspended by not taking action against the teachers and villagers who obstructed government work. The BJP government is continuously showing the proof of being anti-Dalit through such shameful acts.”

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