Deputy Election Officer (City) Farogh Mukadam said, “There is no reason to make elections a communal issue. We ourselves are working around the clock not caring for festivals or weekends. Yet we are sensitive to the feelings of the community, and if some of them wish to reschedule training sessions, the AROs may arrange it. We are Indians first, everything else comes later.”
Abraham Mathai, president of an NGO called Indian Christian Voice, had said earlier Tuesday, “By asking Christian teachers to attend duty on Good Friday, the Mumbai election officer appears to defy the HC order overturning the cancellation of the Good Friday holiday in Daman and Diu, and Dadra Nagar Haveli. Christian teachers should be exempt. Making them report for work this day violates their fundamental rights under Article 25 of the Constitution.”
Mukadam retorted that participating in the election exercise was (akin to) the “fundamental duty” of every citizen.
Neeta Vaz, a teacher at St Anne’s School, Malad, said, “We are fasting on Good Friday and have to attend two services in church. It is impossible for me to attend poll training from 2.00-5.00pm.”
Nearly 100 schools are affiliated to the Archdiocesan Board of Education and most of its teachers are being assigned election duty.