A headmistress in a government school in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri district has landed herself in controversy for allegedly refusing to hoist the National Flag and salute it during the independence Day celebration.
The flag was hoisted by the assistant headmistress on the pretext that the headmistress’s religious belief did not allow her to do so. Tamilselvi, the headmistress of a government higher secondary school in Bedarahalli in Dharmapuri district, is due to retire this year.
On August 15, as a part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations across the nation, a grand flag hoisting ceremony was organised in the school.
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Tamilselvi, in a recorded video, said: “I belong to the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect of Christianity. Our god says that salutations must be given only to him. That’s what the Bible says. But we are bound by laws. We accept the national flag, but won’t salute it. I will pay salutations only to the god I worship. I did not insult the national flag. But my salutations are only for my god. We respect the laws and political parties though.”
Villagers lodge a complaint
A formal complaint about the incident was later made by villagers to Dharmapuri’s chief education officer. In the complaint, it has been mentioned that last year on Independence Day, the headmistress took leave and that she has been doing so over the years on the pretext of sick leave.
In the complaint to the chief education officer, Tamilselvi was also charged with showing bias towards one religion.
Accusations of not providing a local holiday for Hindu festivals, and harassing girl students who wear bindi, flowers, etc., have also been levelled against her,
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