The Bengal Imam’s Association has taken strong exception to the education board chief calling the topper in the state higher secondary examination a “Muslim girl from Murshidabad” without mentioning her name.
The association has demanded sacking of the chairperson of the higher secondary board, Dr Mahua Das.
The Muslim clerics body has also come down heavily on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for “allowing” such a tradition in the state.
Rumana Sultana, a girl from Murshidabad, scored 499 out of 500 in the higher secondary examination this year.
In its statement, Md Iyahiya said, “The chairperson of the board has proved her communal mentality while calling the topper of the higher secondary examination 'a Muslim girl'. It showed her distorted mentality. This is not only unfortunate, but also painful.”
The association also criticised the state government over the statement.
“If the person, under whose influence this chief of the education board did such a ghastly act, does not sack the board chief, then we would assume that Ms Das did such a shameful act under her superior’s desire or direction,” said Iyahia.
The Muslim body claimed that this was not an isolated case and added that Das has showed such attitude in the past as well.
In an apparent criticism of CM Banerjee, the Muslim clerics body said, “The person who inspired all of them, like Ms Das and others, two years back did not felicitate the students of madrasa board along with state board students. Madrasa board students are always treated differently.”
In 2019, the chief minister had felicitated students of secondary, higher secondary and madrassa board, who had completed the courses.
Iyahiya demanded clarification on why Das did not name the girl, but mentioned her as a “lady from the Muslim community”.
“Last year the board chief mentioned the names of those who who got into the merit list but this time she did not take the name of the topper and mentioned her as a girl of a particular community. The chief minister should immediately dismiss her from the job,” demanded Iyahia.
The association called Das an “uneducated and completely a person without ethics and manners”.
Das could not be contacted from her reactions, but a member of the board said this year’s examination was unlike other years. Students were asked to write the exams in their own school unlike in the past when students had to travel to another school for board examination.
“So the board has maintained a very low profile on this,” he said.