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‘Not Only About Pak, Bangladesh’: Principal on National Anthem Row

Sanjay Mallick is also a former Indian Air Force officer.

Updated
Education
2 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor:
Mohd Ibrahim

“I want all our students to be dedicated towards serving the nation,” said Sanjay Mallick, principal of Sant Nandlal Smriti Vidya Mandir (SNSVM) in Ghatsila, Jharkhand, after the school faced a lot of flak for asking a few students to learn the national anthems of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

‘Not Just Pak and Bangladesh, Anthems of All Neighbouring Countries’

Mallick, in a video message, clarified that as part of the exercise, students were not asked to memorise the national anthems of only Pakistan and Bangladesh, but rather of all neighbouring countries.

“The project work was given only to improve the general knowledge of the students, while preparing them for the International School Awards.”
Sanjay Mallick, Principal, Sant Nandlal Smriti Vidya Mandir

The International School Awards, Mallick explained, are awarded by the British Council. “Under this project, students are taught the national anthems, symbols, emblems, birds, animal, flag etc, of all neighbouring countries,” said Mallick.

He also shared that students are taught about all these attributes of India, as well.

Mallick, a former Indian Air Force officer, also spoke of his love for the nation:

“I am a patriot myself. I want all our students to be dedicated towards serving our country. As far as knowledge is concerned, we should have knowledge of everything.”
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‘The World is One Family’

Mallick said the controversy is disturbing the students, as well as the teachers, and urged the public to put an end to it.

He went on to apologise to those he may have hurt inadvertently:

“If any of my brothers and sisters were hurt by this action, which was within the International School Awards framework, I want to extend my sincerest apologies, as well as apologies on behalf of the entire school.”

Mallick ended the video by raising slogans of ‘Jai Hind Jai Bharat’ and ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam (the world is one family).’

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‘Only Purpose Was to Enhance General Knowledge’

According to Hindustan Times, the teacher who had handed out the exercise to the students said that she did so as per the school management’s direction and “the objective was to enhance the general knowledge of the students.” Meanwhile, the school administration has reportedly suspended Principal Sanjay Mallick.

An Anti-National Exercise?

Hindustan Times also reported that the BJP state spokesperson Kunal Sarangi has referred to the exercise as “anti-national” and demanded strict action against the school.

“If action is not taken against the school, this will become a dangerous trend…At such a tender age, this is absolutely not acceptable. It is an attempt to manipulate young minds,”   
BJP state spokesperson Kunal Sarangi

(With inputs from Hindustan Times.)

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