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Is Britain's first Hindu School Divisive?

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This was rather clear that time will come that the non-Vaishnavas will instruct the Vaishnava institutions what is right or wrong - UK a nation based on Christian tradition paying for a Hindu school.


Ed Balls: Is Britain's first Hindu school divisive?

Monday, September 15, 2008, 02:12 PM GMT [General]



It will be interesting to hear what schools secretary Ed Balls has to say about Britain's first Hindu faith school, which opens today in Harrow. Balls was accused earlier this year of a "witch hunt" against the UK's 7,000-odd faith schools, accusing them of all manner of socially divisive practices and dodgy up-front fee charges.






Labour's attitude to faith schools has been inconsistent


That was calculated to be an appeal by Balls to the Labour left, sensitive as ever to anything that could be perceived as selection in education, as well as Gordon Brown's abandonment of Tony Blair's championing of faith schools.

But all of that might have seemed a good idea while faith schools were a euphemism for Christian and Jewish establishments – with perhaps a subtle implication thrown in that Muslim schools could be a breeding ground for radicalisation (intelligence reports have since shown that to be a nonsense).

Is Labour going to have an appetite for beating up on peace-loving Hindus at Harrow's Krishna-Avanti school, with its yoga, meditation and prayers in an outdoor amphitheatre? It might reek of Cherie Blair's approach to spirituality, when she wasn’t schooling her husband in Roman Catholicism, but Balls is unlikely to bring this Government's ardent secularism to bear on the relatively soft religious target of Hinduism.

That's strange, because to be consistent Balls should be highly critical of a school which will initially admit just one class of 30 primary pupils from the estimated 15,000 Hindu children in Harrow. A spokesman tells me that the school will admit children of other faiths if it is underd. Fat chance, I would have thought.

And nothing wrong with that. Religion has played a central role in education through the ages and Harrow’s Hindus will be well served in that tradition.

But it would be good to know that the school secretary's secular zeal is indiscriminately applied, rather than aimed principally as Christian institutions, which Labour's left despises. But fat chance of that too. No votes from the left in attacking Hindus, you see.




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