Mysore: Amid the controversy erupted over Hijab in Karnataka which has not only led to war or words between BJP and the opposition parties but also is taking a communal colour, one of the oldest government schools of Mysore being shut, is not making any headlines.
Just a few days ago, the government shut down Maharani Model Government Higher Primary School located in Mysuru city.
A century old Kannada school was opened only for girls in the past by the then rulers.
The reason for closing down the school is believed to be Ramkrishna Ashram which had received school building and the land from the government for constructing a memorial in the name of Swamy Vivekanand.
Following the government granting land, controversy surfaced as many people objected to the government decision.
The functionaries of the Ashram claimed that Swamy Vivekanand had visited that area, therefore they wanted to build a memorial in his name.
Since then, protests have started against the Ashram and to retain the school. The matter had remained alive for about a decade, but since about a year, the protest has been intensified.
The school which was started by Maharani Kempananjamanni for girls has its own historic significance. Considering this, the protest is being held demanding not to shut down the school.
The site has become the centre of row for the last ten years. Many people believe that education should be given more importance which was also one of the aspirations of Vivekanand. Ashram should stop its adamant attitude of demanding the same site for memorial, the protestors said.
But suddenly, the furniture of the school was shifted to some other place last Thursday.
The people who are protesting to save the school, said that they have no knowledge as to why the furniture has been shifted. Attempts by these protestors to prevent the shifting of furniture failed as the officials of the education department stopped them. The officials also locked the school.
The protesters have met MP, V. Srinivas Prasad urging him to intervene in the matter. They include writer Devanur Mahadeva, activists P. Mallesh, Farmer leader Badagalpur Nagendra.
It is being reported that there was a meeting supposed to be held between the protestors and the authorities to find out an amicable solution.
But the protestors complained that even before the meeting, the authorities have shut the school.
The deliberations are going on to save the school and also provide space to the memorial. A meeting was held which was chaired by Seer of Suttur Math. Former MLC, D. Madegowda, who was representing the Ashram, wanted the discussion to be held as per terms of negotiation.
But now, all those matters have ended and the furniture has been shifted abruptly.
In this regard, the activists have urged Prasad to take lead and intervene in the matter. It is learnt that Prasad too has taken the matter seriously.
Some reports also suggest that the government has issued an order for shifting of the school.
Amid this, the police have been deployed outside the school. The protestors are angry with the government for closing down the school without holding any discussions.
Mallesh, who is leading the protest to save the school, said that their efforts to save the historically significant school will continue.
Around 70 girls are studying in the school. These students have been shifted to government teachers training institute located near to the school.
It is ironic that while the school which is meant for the education of girls, has been closed in Mysuru, a controversy has been created over Hijab in the State.
The article was first published in our sister website naanugauri.com. It was translated in English by Firoz Rozindar.