Sharia in Malabar? Ramzan effect discontinues mid-day meals in schools, study hours lessened

published on July 28, 2013
Ramzan, the season of fasts has brought to a stand still the mid-day meal scheme in government and aided schools of Malabar. Study hours have also been shortened with the regular school hours getting coming to an end by afternoon. The stopping of mid-day meals and the lowering of study hours in schools have been implemented without addressing concerns of non-muslim students studying in these schools.
According to a report in Malayalam daily Janmabhumi, the special policy for these schools, akin to the system followed in Islamic countries, of denying mid-day meals to members of other religious communities while Muslims fast, is said to have been sanctioned by the state education department, which is handled by IUML.
This has brought about great inconvenience to students of other religions who study in these government and aided schools of Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode,Kannur and Kasargod districts.
According to the report, “even though the decision was challenged by some of the PTA office bearers and guardians, their efforts proved futile, with no action being taken inspite of written complaints and representations to the Secretariat.”
The report also state that “schools in places like Thiruangadi, Vengara, Thennala, Mancheri, Cherumanna, Thanoor and Vanimel, government and aided schools function according to the Islamic calendar, with a month’s holiday for Ramzan every year. It is said that these schools do not conduct classes on Fridays.”
Responding to the matter state BJP President, V Muralidharan has alleged that “changing school timings in Malabar region in the name of Ramzan is against the law and blatant attempt at religious appeasement.”
“Schools are not empowered to change timings. If and when other religions celebrate festivals and observe fasts and demand such leniency, will it be sanctioned? If the academic calendars are subjected to change based on religious needs, it would be upset the academic calendar and system,” said Muralidharan

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