The Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) has issued a notice to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) after NDMC issued a circular asking schools run by it to ensure that the Gayatri Mantra was recited by students during morning assemblies.
The DMC demanded an explanation from the NDMC as to “why a circular has been issued to its schools to make students recite Gayatri Mantra in morning assemblies.”
The notice says, “Is this not against our secular polity and will this not cause division in the ranks of students and teachers as many belong to minority communities who may not like to recite mantras of religious nature.”
Ritu Goel, chairman of the BJP-ruled NDMC, clarified that recital of Gayatri Mantra was not mandatory. “We have already clarified it’s not mandatory in our schools,” she said. She added that the circular was not limited to the recital of Gayatri Mantra, it had directions on personal hygiene, moral education, general awareness and physical exercise to be conducted in morning assemblies of schools apart from the recital of the National Anthem and patriotic slogans. The NDMC currently runs 765 schools with 2.2 lakh enrolled students.