A post is being shared on social media where students of a government school in Kashmir can be seen singing ‘Raghupathi Raghava Raja Ram.’ The post description reads, “#Wellcome to #NewKashmir what is happing in Kashmir nowadays ya Allah save our future generation from the enemies of Islam #parentsmustlook#teachers are doing this for their benefit” Let’s fact-check this claim in this article.
Claim: In Kashmir, government school teachers are making students sing ‘Raghupathi Raghava Raja Ram’ for their own benefit.
Fact: The school education department of the government of Kashmir has released a month-long calendar of activities for celebrating the 153rd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory (JKUT). The celebrations that started on 5 September 2022 will last till 2 October 2022. According to the official circular, every school is supposed to organise an ‘All faith prayer-Raghupathi Raghav Raja Ram..’ on 13 September 2022. Deep Raj, SPD, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan of the Directorate of School Education, Kashmir, confirmed to Factly that such a circular had been sent across JKUT for the celebration of Gandhi Jayanthi. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
Upon searching the internet with relevant keywords, we found the same video uploaded on YouTube by an independent journalist from Jammu and Kashmir named Asif Iqbal Naik. The post title reads ‘Students of Govt High School Nagam Kulgam in Kashmir singing Hindu hymn Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram.’ The school board can be seen in the viral video on which Government High School – Nagam Kulgam is written. The details of the school can be found here.
We found a few news reports (here and here) on the internet about a notice that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir released for celebrating Gandhi Jayanthi in schools across Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory (JKUT).
Reportedly, this is a month-long schedule which has to be followed by all schools. Starting from 6 September 2022, activities are prescribed to all the schools for each day until 2 October 2022. The activity for 13 October 2022 was to sing an ‘All faith prayer- Raghupathi Raghav Raja Ram….’ which the students of Govt High School Nagam Kulgam were singing in the viral video. The copy of the calendar of activities released by the government of Jammu and Kashmir can be read here.
Factly contacted the Directorate of School Education, Kashmir and spoke to Deep Raj, SPD, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. He confirmed that a circular has been released before 5 September 2022, and every school in Jammu and Kashmir is participating in the activities of the Gandhi Jayanthi celebration as per the calendar. He said that some people had given it a wrong spin while the truth is something else.
With this evidence, we can confirm that the video of students singing Raghupathi Raghav Raja Ram in the Government school of Nagam, Kulgam is part of the Gandhi Jayanthi celebrations and that the teachers are not doing it for their own benefit. This step by the government was criticized from the former Chief Minister of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti. News reports on this can be read here, here and here.
To sum up, the viral video of students singing Raghupathi Raghav Raja Ram is part of the month-long Gandhi Jayanthi celebrations in the schools in Jammu and Kashmir.