Another Indian teacher investigated over comments targeting Muslim students

The Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya school in Delhi

A teacher at a government school in Delhi who allegedly told Muslim students that the “Ka’aba’s location is cursed” and that they are “not proper Indians” is being investigated by police over derogatory and Islamophobic remarks.

The accused Hindu teacher has been identified as Hema Gulati who works at Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar locality.

She is alleged to have engaged in offensive behaviour on August 23. The allegations involve her hurling communal slurs and offensive comments at Muslim students, invoking their religious beliefs and practices.

The controversy follows closely on the heels of the recent “slap gate” controversy in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar.

Responding to complaints from parents, Delhi Police have initiated legal proceedings against Gulati for her alleged inflammatory remarks. Authorities have registered a case against her under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including promoting enmity between different religious groups, insulting religious beliefs, and intention to wound religious feelings.

One student, Ishraq, said that the teacher stated that Muslims were not originally from India. Gousiya, a sibling of a student, said that the teacher made these remarks following the recent Chandrayan-3 lunar landing.

Gousiya said: “According to the teacher, Muslims didn’t contribute to India’s fight for freedom, and she believes Muslims are undisciplined, often relying on swords for victory in wars.”

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Reportedly, the teacher also used disrespectful language when referring to the Ka’aba. Zubair Ansari, another student, said: “The teacher claimed that because of the darkness  the Ka’aba is black, and she believes the location is cursed.”

The alleged remarks have sparked widespread outrage among parents and the community.

Angry parents have lodged complaints against Gulati, highlighting “her abusive conduct within the classroom.” The incident has also culminated in a protest by students and their families outside the school premises.

Angry parents outside the school.

Kausar, a mother-of-two students who attend the school, demanded the immediate dismissal of the teacher and called for a ban on her teaching elsewhere. She said that the teacher’s “divisive comments” not only hurt the sentiments of students but also propagated discord among them.

Former councillor Hasibul Hasan said the teacher’s actions were intended to sow the seeds of hatred within impressionable young minds. “Such conduct,” he said, “could have detrimental effects on the children’s future.”

And the local Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) committee has joined the growing chorus of voices demanding decisive action against the teacher who has yet to comment on the matter.

Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in India, there has been growing concern about the rise of Islamophobia within the country.

The BJP is a Hindu nationalist party that seeks to promote Hindu cultural and religious values, which often leads to instances where inflammatory rhetoric and divisive policies have contributed to an environment that fosters anti-Muslim sentiments.

Social media has played a major role in perpetuating Islamophobic narratives. Fake news, hate speech, and misinformation targeting Muslims have spread on various platforms, exacerbating existing tensions and contributing to a hostile online environment.

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