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Greendale School District Pulls Hindu Song from Holiday Concert After Parent Complains

Parents were offended by the religious sayings in the popular Hindu song.

The removed a popular Hindu devotional song after a parent complained about religious lyrics in the song.

Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, which was going to be sung in the original language, was pulled from the yearly holiday concert at all the elementary levels. The song was made popular by Gandhi when he and his followers sang it during the Salt March to Dandi.

Anna Madden, a school district representative, said a parent or two complained and felt offended about a religious saying in the song.

This year's holiday concert has a multicultural theme, Madden said. Other multicultural songs included are Feliz Navidad, a Kwanza song and the Hebrew song Hava Nagila.

Madden also said that other school districts, such as Whitefish Bay, have cancelled holiday concerts all together because of the controversy behind them.

The school district pulled the song because a parent said that their child would sit out of the Hindu song and an e-mail with the English lyrics translation would be sent out to all the parents, Madden said.

The school district didn't want to make any child uncomfortable by sitting out and cancelled the song for that reason.

"The concerts are suppose to be fun," Madden said.

There were also parents who were upset that the song was pulled from the concerts. Madden said they have received a few complaints about that as well.

"For me, if that is the case, all songs that have religious overtones should be pulled and this is just thinly-veiled racism from the parents," Jason Dobbs, a parent, wrote Patch in an e-mail.

The school district emphasized that they didn't want any child to feel uncomfortable and wanted it to be fun all the children.

When asked Madden said there were no other complaints about other songs.

neustifter December 28, 2011 at 04:03 AM
PART 2 Many Children, parents and staff had no idea what the lyrics to this song actually meant. It was our goal to have the lyrics printed for everyone to understand. Please take time to google the lyrics if you haven’t already. We know that everyone has their own religious beliefs and it was not our intent to have the song pulled, but we are glad it was. We know it’s important to learn about other cultures and religions, but learning about other religions and their gods is much different that the praising of false gods even if done unknowingly. The first of the Ten Commandments God gave Moses says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” In the Bible God says He loved us so much that “He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Sincerely, Dick and Beth Neustifter
Paul Johnson December 28, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Wow, how dumb is this all going to get? We are in a great village and now we just get the crazies posting over and over again. Crazy is as Crazy gets... Keep posting crazy and just know you are what I write - dumb crazy.
Mohit Gupta December 28, 2011 at 05:34 AM
@ neustifter So , you are that proud parent and follower of 'Real' God.And we never knew someone could think that an innocent child like Eric , who is hardly aware of HIS existence might have SO strong feeling towards the religion and God.Thank you very much for spoiling the innocent mind of children like Eric.You have done a great service to Humanity. Let me tell you one thing , if you think that you can reach to the soul of that song through random translation found in google or other websites then you are grossly mistaken and mis-informed.The unfortunate thing is that the song , which suggest the ONE-NESS of GOD despite their different names and promotes harmony , is being singled out for blame.Its unfortunate that people like parents of nice children Eric didn't understand the meaning of a song. Ms/Mr whatver , BTW what do you measn when you say -"HINDU GODS" - Do YOU actually think that GODS of Hindu , Muslim , Christian , Jews are DIFFERENT ? If you think so then you neither know nothing about Religion Nor about GOD.Your thoughts are actually Blasphemy of highest order. And no it doesn't matter if you or people like you get this or similar songs BANNED in school where your children study but let them know that there is a land far away from your country where 'YOUR GOD' is worshiped without making so much fuss over the name of GOD.
Mohit Gupta December 28, 2011 at 05:44 AM
@neustifter "We know it’s important to learn about other cultures and religions, but learning about other religions and their gods is much different that the praising of false gods even if done unknowingly. " FALSE GOD ? Are you crazy ? So you mean that all the Gods worshiped by the follower of other religions are FALSE ? And 'Your-God" is TRUE ?? How supremacist ?? I am more upset at diving GOD in 'Yours and Mine" than saying that 'Mine is better than you" .How can you be so ignorant and mean that you start calling Gods FALSE just because they are being called by another name by the follower of other religions. Let me tell you , Christian religion is just 2000 years Old while Hinduism was there for the last 10,000 years.So we know which is false and which is original.I don't wanto get in those details.Because then it will get all nasty. But let me tell you one thing very clearly , we don't care if your ERIC or any other christian child sing a devotional songs or not but at-least have some decency not to call other form and Gods as FALSE or FAKE , because then , as a Hindu , I can say that you are just abusing your own GOD , The Jesus and Holy Spirit , because we Hindu believe all GODs are same and have Oneness in them selves. Hindus , Muslims , Christians and Jews DON'T have different Gods but only different NAMES,Once you get it in to your mind , you will understand HOW WRONG you were ! Jai Shree Ram !
karthika January 28, 2012 at 03:03 PM
This country does have its bigots but mostly tolerant at least Midwest is. I have been schooled in catholic schools and have never felt in-secure about going to church' Hinduism for me represents the openness and freedom it gives me to worship whoever, however I want. My mom went to catholic school too and she has always had and till now has an image of Jesus at our home in India. When you are secure about your beliefs there is no need to be threatened by other religions. I recognize that this is a country with majority of people are Christians. Nativity scenes in public places/property have never offended me. Why should it. But I also get it when they say keep religion out of public places. I agree with that. I have to acknowledge and appreciate that this country has allowed many temples to be built and I am able to freely worship. There are many countries which do not allow other religions to practice. What I am trying to say is-Hindus need not feel offended that the song was taken out. We are not that insecure. We can sing other religious songs all day and know that we are still hindus and not going to hell.:)). It is a learning process as the society becomes more diverse. The schools will get it right. Let all religions be patient with these mistakes and let the kids have fun. I don't make a big issue about what my kid sang at school and she doesn't care.

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