Arbitrary and Cruel

Arbitrary and Cruel

A teacher of a private school has been dismissed from service by the school authorities. The decision to dismiss him- a cruel one , by any yardstick- appears to be based on pure whim and conceit. The man was informed of his dismissal on phone as he was serving a feast to his guests. It needs to be pointed out that the man was dismissed along with the woman with whom he had tied a marital knot and who was teaching in the same school. Apparently and, on the face of it, the school authorities have been piqued and angered by the couple’s decision to marry. If this is true, then it constitutes one of the most flimsiest grounds for/of dismissal. Marriage is, even according to our religion, a choice and a union that consenting adults can enter into, as long as it conforms and corresponds to the essentials of Islam. The criteria that our religion lays emphasis on are the nature and intensity of religiosity of the couple. It then is not clear why the school authorities have been so angered by the couple in contention’s decision to marry- a clear halal choice. Moreover, the nature and the way of the dismissal, besides being cruel is purely arbitrary and comes at a critical and delicate time for the couple. There is squeamishness and arbitrariness at work here. The couple has done nothing wrong and both of them should be reinstated into the school immediately. Failing this, the administration must intervene and not only raise questions about the nature and method of dismissal but also assist in reinstating the young couple in the said school. While this one case or instance has come to light, there could be hundreds of cases where private schools’ management structures and processes are quite detrimental to the overall welfare of their staff with very limited redressal means and mechanisms at hand, either internal like an ombudsman or external like legal redressal. As it is, private schooling in Kashmir has morphed into a business and commercial venture wherein the staff are usually underpaid and even, in some instances, exploited. It is then about time that these schools be put under a scanner and their management structures and processes be put under a gaze to ease the suffering(s) of their staff. Let it begin with the case in contention by reinstating the couple who have been arbitrarily and cruelly dismissed.

 

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