Mumbai: Somaiya School Principal Defends Social Media Posts On Israel-Gaza Conflict & Domestic Politics, Refuses To Resign

Mumbai: Somaiya School Principal Defends Social Media Posts On Israel-Gaza Conflict & Domestic Politics, Refuses To Resign

The principal, Parveen Shaikh said that teachers should be allowed to express their views freely.

Sachin TUpdated: Friday, May 03, 2024, 12:40 PM IST
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Mumbai: Somaiya School Management Asks Principal To Resign Over Social Media Posts On Israel-Gaza Conflict & Domestic Politics | File

Mumbai: The management of the Somaiya School in Vidyavihar area asked its principal to step down after OpIndia, a right-wing media outlet, targeted her over social media posts related to the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict as well as domestic politics.

Parveen Shaikh, the principal, was asked to resign following a meeting with the members of Somaiya Vidyavihar, the trust that manages the school as well as several other well-known education institutes at its Vidyavihar campus. Shaikh, however, said that she has no plans to leave her position.

“Why should I resign? I have worked tirelessly for the school for the past 13 years. Even the management doesn’t want me to go, but they are under immense pressure,” said Shaikh.

Samir Somaiya, president of Somaiya Vidyavihar, didn’t respond to calls and a message from the FPJ.

Last week, OpIndia published an online article attacking Shaikh for ‘liking’ and ‘reposting’ various posts on X as well as for a few posts of her own. These posts cover a range of topics, including the conflict in the Middle-East, political figures such as Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath, the Hijab ban in Karnataka, communal violence and the imprisonment of activist Umar Khalid.

Somaiya Vidyavihar said in a post on X, “We were unaware of the sentiments expressed until it was brought to our notice. We do not agree with such sentiments. It is certainly concerning. We are looking into the matter.”

Shaikh has, however, defended her views and posts, accusing OpIndia of bias and unfairly targeting her. “It has come to my attention that the platform raising these allegations and its supporters might be biased against the constitutional principles. Their response seems to be a deliberate attempt to further their own prejudiced agenda and deliberately malign my image,” she said, adding that teachers should be allowed to express their views freely. She added that she is exploring all available options to address this matter “in a manner that upholds the values of dignity and fairness”.

Here are some of the posts that Shaikh liked on social media platform X (formerly Twitter). Shaikh has locked her profile on the social media following the controversy.

She also liked another statement of Hamas where they refuted the rape charges.

The full statement:

We reject the occupation’s lies about cases of rape, which aim to distort the resistance and cover up the image of its humane and moral dealings with detainees. We strongly reject and denounce the alignment of some Western media outlets with the misleading Zionist campaigns that promote unfounded lies and allegations aimed at demonizing the Palestinian resistance, the latest of which is the allegation that resistance members committed “sexual violence” during the Al-Aqsa Flood Battle on October 7. We consider this misleading campaign to be part of a series of lies spread by the Zionist propaganda machine, whose claims have been proven false, especially the falsehood of beheading children and targeting revelers at the concert in the Re’im settlement, and not the least of which is the lie of using Al-Shifa Medical Hospital for military purposes. The Nazi Zionist occupation seeks to spread rumors and lies against the resistance in a desperate attempt to cover up the image that the world saw of the humane and moral dealings with detainees and their good care among the resistance men, which a number of released detainees testified to, despite the occupation’s attempts to cover up and obscure it. We call on all media outlets and agencies to be careful not to fall into the trap of the occupation’s lies and tendentious propaganda, and to verify every information, to protect the truth and preserve the sanctity of the media message. Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas"

Shaikh also liked a Tweet by 2021 Delhi riots accused Sharjeel Usmani in which he called Hindu society as 'radicalised'.

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