New Medium for Propagating Communalism: School Uniforms in Ahmedabad

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The Shahpur Public School and Dani Limda Public School are unique for being the only English-medium schools of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. To prevent the decreasing number of admission in the public schools of Ahmedabad, the municipal corporation inaugurated these English- medium schools with the hope of preventing the declining enrolment.
While the uniform at Shahpur School where most of the enrolled students come from a lower middle class Hindu family is saffron coloured, the Dani Limda School where most of the students come from Muslim family has a green uniform. The AMC School Board Chairman Jagdish Bhavsar said, “The selecting of the green (as uniform for Dani Limda School) was a random decision and has nothing to do with any community.

We had other options, of pink and blue, too but, keeping in mind the suitability to children, green was finalised.” He termed the selection of saffron for the Shahpur school as a “non-partisan decision” too, taken without any “prejudice or preference” towards a community or organisation.

Asked if the colour choices had anything to do with the religion of the students, Bhavsar said, “There is no such thing about communities and colours associated with them.”  Dani LimMore than 98% of the students atda Public School, located in the middle of the Muslim-majority Kanubhai ni chali slum in the Dani Limda village, are Muslim. At the Shahpur Public School, more than 95% students are Hindus.

The Shahpur school uniform is sponsored incidentally by a “social organisation” called the Shahpur Seva Sangh of which Bhavsar himself is a member. Its president is a former BJP corporator of Shahpur ward, Atul Bhavsar. In case of, Dani Limda Public School money for the uniforms has been collected from local donors along with a businessman in Narol area and two Muslim teachers in the morning shifts who have helped in organising the uniforms.

Though authorities have denied any linkage regarding religious sentiments associated with the colour of the uniforms, an insidious working of it can be clearly seen through this web where a communal divide can be sensed.

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Rituparna Das
Student Reporter at Linkfried, Rituparna is a student of Yadavpur University, Calcutta. She writes about Education News, Information , announcement From calcutta.