Kolkata: The West Bengal government has cancelled the registration of state-run Saraswati Sishu Mandir for printing Islampur as Ishwarpur in its admission notice.
The school, run by Vidya Bharati, is located in Bengal’s North Dinajpur district at Islampur’s Netaji Palli. Recently, in their admission notices, the school had mentioned ‘Islampur’ as ‘Iswarpur’, which stoked a controversy.
State education minister Partha Chatterjee has ordered an inquiry into the matter, questioning how could a school affiliated to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education change the name of its location from ‘Islampur’ to ‘Iswarpur’.
“I am aware about the matter and ordered a probe,” Partha Chatterjee said.
Recently, a team of officials from West Bengal Board of Secondary Education visited the school at North Dinajpur and collected all the documents, including its affiliation letter, from the school principal, Khudiram Rai.
“They came and left with all the documents but, I would like to clarify that we have maintained the name ‘Islampur’ in all our official records. It was only on few admission notices ‘Islampur’ was mentioned as ‘Iswarpur’ because locally this place is known as both ‘Islampur’ and ‘Iswarpur’. The matter was unnecessarily blown out of proportion,” school principal Khudiram Rai said.
He added, “Yesterday, I heard that West Bengal Board of Secondary Education cancelled its affiliation. Presently, we have more than 500 students till class eight and we are worried about their future.”
Organizing Secretary, Vidya Bharati-North Bengal, Partha Ghosh said, “It is very unfortunate that the government has cancelled its affiliation. We will decide the next course of action soon after consulting the matter with the higher level in our organization.”
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s (ABVP) Bimal Das said, “We have decided to take the matter to Calcutta High Court because it is the matter of future of several children who are studying in the school. How can the government take such stand?”
He said, “The place is known as both ‘Islampur’ and ‘Iswarpur’. If you ask the bus conductor to drop you at Iswarpur, he will drop you at Islampur. It is very common among the local people. There are several place in Bengal where a place is known by two names. In Malda district, there is a place called Gazole, which also known as Shivaji Nagar. This is quite common in rural Bengal. I don’t know why people are making it controversial.”
President of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education Kalyanmoy Ganguly refused to comment on the matter.