Malegaon: Condemnation is pouring in from all quarters three days after the unruly mob set afire and ransacked Mother Aisha Urdu Medium School in Malegaon on Friday even as the school management tried all in its hands to re-start academic activities from Monday.
The sweeper, accused of molesting the 06-year-old student, has also been arrested by the local police. Cases have also been filed against over 10,000 unknown people for indulging in violence and arson.
It is also officially reported that the parents were angry over the school management for its inaction against the accused.
There is also a political angle being discussed in the city with a political party accusing a former MLA of driving the crowd towards the violent hit school.
However, what needs to be answered is why the parents, given that their own children were studying in the school, were so furious that they resorted to ugliest violence – not for few minutes but for almost seven hours, in the run up destroying among other things important documents of their own children.
Nobody will justify the violence and burning of an education institution. But, the questions haunting minds are why the school management could not strike a chord with the parents and why the parents themselves did not have a sense of ownership in regard with their children’s school.
A close analysis of the events unfolded on the unfortunate day and after talking to some parents and those residing near the school, ummid.com found that there was more to the official versions issued by the police and the school management than meets the eye.
The violent mob was angry and furious, almost mad. But not mad enough to ignore the fact that any video shooting or photo-shoot would be used as evidence against them. It is hence while venting their anger against the school they made it sure that their criminal acts were not recorded.
Parents were angry for the fact that the school management did not take cognizance of their complaint. But, it is also alleged that some of the staff members misbehaved with the agitating parents. When they tried to meet the Head Mistress, she refused and did not spare time for them.
“Had the head mistress spared few minutes for the agitating parents, the situation would not have gone so badly out of control”, the parents said.
Throwing some more light on the “intensity of anger” against the school is the money the management used to charge in the name of “donation” at the time of admission. There were clear murmurings of “Bahut paise leta hai saala” from the crowd who comprised poorest of poor of the city.
Some were of the view that the management was running its intuitions like “dukaan” – a money making machine.
It is unfortunate that Mother Aisha Urdu Medium School had to face the brunt of the agitating lot. It will also be wrong to single out Mother Aisha school for "donation" and "rude behavior", as accused by some parents. What ummid.com found after the tragic and shameful act by the violent mob is that Mother Aisha School is not an exception. Similar feelings are rampant also against other schools and colleges running in the city.
There is a general perception that education sector has been totally “commercialized” and contrary to the claim by the managements that they are doing service to the society, they are actually running businesses.
Many parents ummid.com spoke to are of the opinion that schools and colleges get lot of funds and privileges from the government but spend very little to improve infrastructure and provide facilities and basic amenities.
They also allege that most of the school and college managements are neck deep in corruption and charge heavy amount at the time of admission.
It is also alleged that appointments in these schools and colleges are made not on the basis of merit but based on how much amount a candidate can pay to the management - all this money, of course, is unaccounted.
“This is high time for the school and college managements to introspect. An education institution should be a place which one should love and not hate. It is the responsibility of the managements to bring such a change”, a parent said.
[Opinions and comments expressed in the above article are not necessarily the editorial views of ummid.com. The article is published in public interest.]