Polly CurtisThursday November 29,
A row has broken out after the UK's first Hindu state school announced a strict admissions code, which critics say favours followers of the Hare Krishna tradition over mainstream Hinduism.
The Krishna-Avanti school in north-west London will be the first school in Britain to make vegetarianism a condition of entry. To get their child a place at the primary school, parents of pupils will also be expected to abstain from alcohol to prove they are followers of the faith.
The policy is proving controversial within Hindu groups. Mainstream Hindus are claiming the policy favours the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) - also known as the Hare Krishna movement - which is backing the school and whose members follow strict vegetarian diets.
The 240-pupil state funded school will open next September in Harrow, where 40,000 of Britain's 1.5 million-strong Hindu community live, comprising 20% of the town's population. Competition for places at the school is expected to be fierce. The government is funding £10m of the £12m building costs.
The new admissions policy sets out how the school will allocate places when it is over subscribed. It gives priority to looked-after children from Hindu families and children with special educational needs, before next prioritising the children of "practising Hindu families".
Nitesh Gor, director of the I-Foundation, the Hindu charity which is backing the voluntary aided school, said: "In common with other faith schools - which may require letters from priests or proof of church or synagogue attendance - we want to give priority to those that are most active in their faith. The definition we have arrived at includes regular home and temple worship, as well as vegetarianism and avoiding alcohol."
Ten places at the new school will be reserved exclusively for children of families at Bhaktivedanta Manor, the temple headquarters of Iskcon in Letchmore Heath, Hertfordshire.
Jay Lakhani, director for education at the Hindu Council UK (HCUK), claimed the school's admissions policy was unfair:
"While HCUK has no problem with the I-Foundation reserving a stated 10 places out of 30 at the school for children of families at Bhaktivedanta Manor, we believe it is unfair to rule out other Hindus by imposing on them the strict rules of one particular, minority Hindu group in order for their children to attend.
"Because the Krishna-Avanti school was offered state funding and is being allowed to open as a 'Hindu' rather than an 'Iskcon' school, that is what it should be, a truly Hindu school that serves and reflects the wider Harrow Hindu community with its kaleidoscopic Hindu diversity."
Mr Gor defended the policy: "We recognise that some Hindus may eat meat in very specific prescribed circumstances and the criteria are not intended to exclude them. Broadly these criteria reflect practices which are common to all mainstream Hindu movements in the UK including the Swaminarayan temples, Iskcon and Jainism as well as all the other branches of Hinduism that have large congregations in Harrow."
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Hindu school is first to make vegetarianism a condition of entry
Latest Jain News
MOST VIEWED NEWS
Recently I visited Udaygiri-Khandgiri caves near Bhuvaneshwar in Orissa. While other devotee Jains were putting their heads on the feet of L...
TOI NEW DELHI: People belonging to minority groups, including Muslims, Jains and Sikh, will now need a certificate to prove their religious...
UK Jains Prepare To Celebrate Traditional Festival By Emma Foster, Community Newswire Jains across the UK are preparing to celebrate their ...
TOI BELGAUM: The Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha will honour 19 achievers with different awards during its 91st quarterly session which is schedu...
A question is being asked that How to get a minority certificate? Who will issue a minority certificate etc. The answer is that there is...
In the elections of Maharashtra Legislative assembly, 7 MLAs from Jain community were elected. Here is the list of the elected MLAs. 1. Cha...
Chandigarh: It was now or never for 28-year-old Lalit Jain, who, despite three unsuccessful UPSC attempts, did not lose patience. Braving t...
March 8: The state government declared on Monday that along with Muslims and Christians, Jains too will be considered as religious minorit...
By Team Mangalorean Photographs: Rajesh Shetty ULLAL, March 21, 2008: The 16th century old Chowta Rani Ullal Abbakkadevi Basadi a hallowed...
INVC,,Chandigarh, A Division Bench of the Punjab & Haryana High Court has upheld that since the Jain Community is a minority community ...