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

SC issues notice to Centre over PIL that claims Hindi prayers in Kendriya Vidyalayas promote a certain religion

The top court on Wednesday issued a notice to the government over a PIL against Hindi and Sanskrit school prayers stating that it is a very important constitutional issue.

All the Students irrespective of their Faith and Belief, have to compulsorily attend the Morning Assembly and recite the prayer, Shah said in his petition.

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

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

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

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In May past year, the apex court rejected a petition seeking to direct the Centre, states and union territories to make Hindi compulsory for students of class I-VIII across the country to promote unity and national integration.

The mandatory recitation of the prayer by children belonging to minority communities as well as atheist, agnostics, sceptics, rationalists and others, the PIL said, was "constitutionally impermissible". The petition said that "The above prayer is being enforced throughout the country in all Kendra Vidyalayas".

The petitioner had challenged Article 92 of the "Revised Education Code of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan" that governs the Kendriya Vidyalayas in India.

There is also second prayer starting with the words "Daya kar, dan vidya ka hamein parmatma dena..." which translates to "Oh God, give us knowledge, grant us abundant spirit, give us purity of soul..."