We are back with FlippED! And this time our two Bloggers are fighting (we seem to do that a lot) about Prayers in School. You know that hymn you were supposed to sing everyday, that one.
It’s just a 5 minute harmless excercise
~ Tanmay Mehra (Blogger 1)
Full disclosure, I attended a catholic school, run by the Society of Jesus. So, we had Priests as our principals and headmasters and heads of major administrative divisions. There was also a significant percentage of Christian students in my school, in fact my best friend himself is a Christian.
Be that as it may, I went through this daily rigor of prayer every day for the better part of 13 years. Every single day we sang hymns to the almighty, some sang it with great fervor, others were bust looking at their friends and giggling.
Now, the astute among you must have noticed that I have already adopted a particular ideology, that of the religion which runs my school. But that is where you are wrong.
My school like many convents and catholic schools has kids from a variety of religions and ethnicities. No particular ideology is enforced in these kids, they came in belonging to a particular to religion and left the same. They were not and are not forced to obey the teachings of a particular religion.
So, that quashes any concern about the systematic conversion of the masses to a religion by these institutions today. However, there are some institutions which try to enforce their ideology through all aspects of the school life, but then that is plain and simple wrong. A corruption of the actual purpose.
Now many believe that following a routine will crush any and all dissent among kids. Well, that doesn’t happen. Dissent is crushed by an active and overt campaign, not a prayer routine. The human mind does not simply stop asking questions because you have to pray for 5 mins a day.
I’ll take a historical detour to explain my next point. Have you ever wondered why for centuries, when people have wanted to pray to a deity, they have come together and done so? The answer is because it works. People feel a sense of camaraderie and friendship and closeness after they have prayed together.
And that is the purpose, to start the day at a positive note. To leave behind all the negativeness of the past and move on to the day ahead. The method varies with each place but the end result is the same.
This might be of interest: FlippED: Is Parliamentary Debating Better Or MUNs? Our Bloggers Fight It Out!
Ye sab milke agenda enforce kar rahe hai
~ Chitra Rawat (Blogger 2)
Children attend school for education, and not dwell in the perimeter of anything remotely religious, quite the same way many people argue that university students should only have to obtain education and not smear themselves with politics in any manner whatsoever.
Let’s get some facts right about praying in the assembly:
- It does not make someone morally upright. And schools are really the breeding grounds for sexism, misogyny, racism and homophobia. So, if those fifteen minutes of interaction with God did make children into this despicable lot, better NOT have prayers in the assembly at all.
- A prayer in the assembly is just a part of the routine to many. How many of us really take it seriously?
So if there is always a considerable lot that goes with point two, what difference will it make if we get rid of it altogether? Why can’t prayers be replaced by something better like a quiz? I mean, you’re actually adding something to yourself in the beginning of the day…
I know it because our school would hold a quiz every Saturday, and we would learn so much from it..
Another thing – there are schools which make children comply with the prayers that it becomes extremely suffocating to dissent. Prayer is just a forced propaganda of religion on children. I had been okay with praying in the assembly if children were given a choice to not pray. I think it will be better then.
Why are students taught religion and not spirituality? Those are two very different things. I would have been happy if schools had some meditative and breathing exercises. And again I take the example of my school – we had fifteen minutes of deep breathing while keeping our eyes closed. That was more peaceful than a hundred people singing in unison.
All in all, I completely disagree with any form of idea which is forced on people. It only makes it a propaganda, and there are schools which combine religion with toxic nationalism. That is even more dangerous for these “ignited minds”.
You would like to read this for sure: