Online Petition Demands Justice for Mumbai School Principal


Praveen Shaikh was removed from her post over her social media activities and political views.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – An online petition demanding justice for Praveen Shaikh, the axed principal of a school in Mumbai, who was fired by the school management over her social media activities and political views. has garnered large support online.

The petition is part of a large online support she has garnered after the retrenchment of her services. The petition, addressed to Somaiya Vidyavihar, a trustee of the school, condemns the termination of the principal after pro-Hindutva propaganda website OpIndia targeted her through an article. The article highlighted that Shaikh liked pro-Palestine posts and those criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On 7 May, Shaikh was fired by the authorities at the Somaiya School after she refused to resign from the post.

“We have seen that your school website contains testimonies of parents praising Ms. Shaikh in her capacity as a principal. Her twelve years of service (seven of which were spent as a principal), surely demanded more empathy while looking into the allegations that were levelled against her,” reads the petition put out by a group ‘Voice of India (Justice in Education’ on

The petition, which was started on Saturday, received signatures from around 2,600 people till Monday afternoon. It set its target of getting about 5,000 signatures.

The petition expressed concern over the fact that the school authorities based their decision on the article published on a website with questionable credibility. The OpIndia is often accused of disseminating misinformation and fake news targeting Muslims and other minorities.

“One would have also hoped that an educational institution of your reputation ought to have not only allowed but also enabled chances of dialogue and/or reconciliation with the aim of not just fairly investigating the claims made by the website but also, standing by your employee. We believe your action amounts to submission to the pressure seemingly generated by the website known for its skewed, biased and provocative views,” the petition noted.

It added: “We live in times that are increasingly becoming polarised for the benefit of a few. In times like these, what is the message that you wish to convey to the world through this act? Does this imply that henceforth people can be fired on the basis of articles posted on websites, especially the unreliable or propaganda ones?”.

The petition also questioned as to whether the years of service, the character of the person, quality of the work, professional ethics and service rendered to the student community, not be taken into account when taking a decision as grave as terminating the contract of a principal ostensibly due to loss of confidence? “What message would you be conveying to the students in your care?” it asked.

The petition told the school authorities that as people who run such a reputed school and other institutions of learning in the city, standing by their employees could have helped them strengthen the diverse fabric of society which is in danger from extremism and intolerance.

“We ask you, on the grounds of fairness and propriety, to reconsider your decision of hastily and unfairly terminating the services of Ms. Parveen Shaikh. If recognised institutions and educators do not stand up for justice, who will?” the petition asked.

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