A day after the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) issued a circular to the school asking them to refrain from punishing students for wearing Rakhi, mehendi, and Tilak after Raksha Bandhan, an incident was reported in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh.
As per the reports, Holy Family Convent School, a private school in Bareilly, first stopped students from celebrating Raksha Bandhan in school and the next day, when the students attended the class wearing Rakhis, the administration chopped them off.
While doing so, the school administration said, ‘Hinduism shall not be preached here’.
Later, the parents of the students and members of various Hindu organisations visited the school and protested this act by the school after which the school furnished a written apology.
What did Convent school do with Hindu students?
The school falls under the jurisdiction of the Aonla police station of Bareilly. At the Bhamora Road Holy Family Convent School, students first tie Rakhis on each other’s hands, celebrating the Hindu festival. As soon as the administration learned about the celebration, they became furious and scolded the students. They did not stop here as, the teacher also chopped the Rakhis off their hands saying, “Hinduism shall not be preached here”.
Upon getting information about the incident, the parents of the children and members of Hindu organisations including Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and ABVP reached the school and held a protest. When informed about the situation, the police arrived at the school, and subsequently, the school management extended an apology to the Hindu parents.
The school administration acknowledged their error and issued a formal written apology. The school leadership admitted their error and provided a guarantee that similar instances wouldn’t happen again. In front of Hindu organisations and school pupils, they presented their letter of apology that was formally stamped with the school’s seal. Rakhis were tied by Hindu organisations to the school staff by the female students.
NCPCR’s circular on Raksha Bandhan
It is noteworthy that on August 30, the NCPCR issued a circular addressing the Principal Secretaries of School Education Departments in all states and union territories, the NCPCR pointed out that students face corporal punishment for wearing Rakhi, mehendi, and Tilak following Raksha Bandhan.
The letter stated that, the commission receives a lot of reports and complaints where students have shared how they face punishments for wearing all of this after the Hindu festival.
Cases where schools have barred students from wearing Kalawa, Tilak and others
Earlier this week, a class 10 student was thrashed by his teacher Farooq Ahmed for writing Jai Shri Ram on the blackboard in Jammu & Kashmir’s Kathua. We at Organiser have compiled a list of 15 such cases reported across the country where students have faced punishments, suspensions and threats for wearing Tilak, Kalawa or Bindi in school. In some instances, the students have even died.
- In Jammu & Kashmir, a minor Hindu boy was thrashed for writing Jai Shri Ram slogan on the blackboard. Later, the local Hindus protested and then the teacher identified as Farooq Ahmed was arrested by the police.
- In Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district, a minor Hindu girl identified as Usha Kumari committed suicide after the teachers at St Xavier’s school beat her up for wearing Bindi in school.
- In Jharkhan’s Bokaro district a minor Hindu boy, studying in the Carmel Convent school was thrashed for wearing Kalawa in the school. It was only after the local Hindus protested that the incident came to light.
- In Jharkhand’s Bokaro district principal of a school Alisha Manjuni suspended whole class for chanting Jai Shri Ram slogans in the school.
- A Hindu student was beaten up by Muslim classmates for putting Tilak on his forehead in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. The incident occurred in a government-run school.
- A school teacher from Tamil Nadu named Udaya Lakshmi shared a Facebook post (now deleted) wherein she boasted about forcefully removing the sacred thread (Kalawas) from the wrists of Hindu students.
- Two instructors physically attacked a Hindu student on August 26 at the Ujra Government School in the Chhatarpur region of Madhya Pradesh because the student was sporting a kada (sacred bracelet).
- A Hindu student was harassed by his class teacher for writing the sacred chant of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on the blackboard at a community school in the Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh.
- In Betul district of Madhya Pradesh, a government teacher removed Kalawa from the hands of Hindu students, saying they must not visit the temple and should not offer prayers. He justified this act by saying that he promotes equal education without any religious bias.
There are so many cases like these mentioned above, read the compilation in this report by Organiser here.