Welcome Step! No Jummah Prayer Break For Teachers On Friday During School Hours: Directorate Of Education, Delhi
April 30th, 2018
The Directorate of Education (DoE) has told the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) that the Muslim teachers will not be allowed to go for Friday prayers Jummah during school hours. Further clarification of whether or not Muslim teachers are allowed to go for the Friday prayers has been sought from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The response from MHA is yet to be received.
What is the issue?
As per reports, Zaraful Islam Khan, DMC chairman, was approached by a delegation of Muslim teachers of schools run by Delhi government and civic bodies saying that they face difficulties in attending Namaz on Fridays as they are required to reach their respective schools 15 minutes before 1 pm which clashes with their prayer time.
DMC sent out a letter addressed to the Education Department of Delhi (DoE) and those of the Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) on 11 April came with the subject ‘Regarding permission to Muslim employees of Government of NCT of Delhi to offer Juma prayers between 1-2 pm on Friday of every week’.
The letter stated, “In this connection on the basis of this letter, the commission has desired for a detailed report. You are hereby requested for forward the detailed report in the aforementioned matter for consideration and further necessary action at the end of the Commission latest by 27 April 2018.”
Khan said that DoE has replied that no such relaxation is allowed, “The Directorate of Education said that no such relaxation is possible as it will hurt the interests of the students. The commission is yet to receive a reply to its notice from MCD.”
A clarification from the Union home secretary is also sought. Khan said that reply from Union home secretary is awaited. “Last week a query was sent to the Union home secretary seeking to know if the 1954 order still exists and the current status on the issue. A reply is awaited.”
Khan said, “The teachers cited an MHA order of 1954 that said Muslim government employees have the right to offer Friday prayer but a deduction from their salary could be made for the working time used in it.”
If required, DMC will formally approach the Delhi government and seek the intervention of Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who is the in charge of the Education Department.
Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav appreciated the move:
Correct decision, not to allow teachers a break for Jumu'ah prayers during school hours.
If similar break not allowed to other employees, or to teachers of other faith, why special treatment for Muslim teachers? https://t.co/TDVJ2s9CX4 via @indiatoday
— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) April 29, 2018
Home Ministry rule of 1954
The teachers told DMC chairman that according to the union home ministry order of 1954, the employees can go for prayers after “foregoing a certain amount from their salary.”
The Logical Indian take
The DoE’s decision is appreciable. Giving compensation on the basis of religion is undesirable. Special treatment on the religious lines not only creates a sense of bias towards a particular community, but it also harms the interests of the students.