A prominent school with several branches across India has asked teachers and students to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. The school principal claimed the move is voluntary but others say it is not.
Some teachers' salaries have been held back because they did not join the membership drive, according to a report in the Times of India. Ryan International has several branches in Delhi and over a hundred more in other cities in India.
The school's Managing director Grace Pinto confirmed the membership drive but said it was "absolutely voluntary". Pinto has been newly appointed as the BJP Mahila Morcha's national secretary in Delhi, the report said.
The news report said that teachers, students and their parents received WhasApp messages from the school, asking them to message a toll-free number 18002662020 to receive primary membership numbers. Recipients were then asked to communicate this number to the management or designated teachers.
Each person was asked to get 10 others to join the membership drive. Forms were distributed in the school, the report says.
"Our March salaries were delayed and the administration staff has been asking us to give the forms, duly filled, back to them so that our salaries can be disbursed," said a teacher working with Mayur Vihar branch. Teachers at Ryan's Vasant Kunj and Rohini said the same.