Ayyappa Deeksha' is a religious observance for 41 days by the devotees of Swamy Ayyappa before visiting the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
A complaint has been lodged by Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF), an organisation fighting for the implementation of legal rights, against St. Mary's School in Sangareddy district in Telangana for punishing a Hindu student who was observing 'Ayyappa Deeksha'.
'Ayyappa Deeksha' is an observance for 41 days by the devotees of Swamy Ayyappa before visiting the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
The incident happened on November 22 when the school management denied entry of 10th class student, for wearing a traditional Black Shirt & Dhoti as he was observing 41 days' Ayyappa Deeksha'.
The victim made multiple requests to the school principal to allow him to attend the classes. But it all fell on deaf for years. The principal made the victim stand in the hot sun for more than an hour.
The incident took place on November 22. The LRPF posted a message on November 26, writing, "LRPF met the student's family. Filed complaint with @NCPCR_ seeking action against St. Mary's School, Sadasivpet, Telangana for violating provisions of Right to Education Act, JJ Act, 2000 & suppressing rights of Hindu students guaranteed by Art 28(3) of Indian Constitution."
The Hindu Post reported that the victim informed LRPF about how the Christian missionary school has made it mandatory for Hindu minor Children to attend Christian religious prayer daily in the morning.
Article 28(3) of the Indian Constitution explicitly prohibits it. It states, "No person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto Cultural and Educational Rights."
Section 17 of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, also prohibits any physical or mental harassment of children. It states that "No child shall be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment" and "Whoever contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be liable to disciplinary action under the service rules applicable to such person."
In 2018, a student from St. Adams High School in Hyderabad was reportedly not allowed to write an exam for wearing the 'Ayyappa Mala'.