In another shocking instance of the Christian intolerance & contempt for Hindu beliefs and customs, Tamil media has reported that St. Joseph school in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu suspended two boy students for applying vibhuti (sacred ash) on forehead.
Hindu devotees apply vibhuti traditionally as three horizontal lines across the forehead and other parts of the body to honor Bhagwan Shiva. This verse from the Bible explains the Christian fanaticism against vibhuti and other Hindu symbols –
Instances of Hindu students being victimised & Hindu symbols being banned in Christian educational institutions are commonplace. Some recent examples –
- Last year, St. Vincent Pallotti School in Bengaluru expelled a 3 year old LKG student because the child had a shikha (long tuft or lock of hair on the top or back of the head) as part of his family’s Hindu religious traditions. The principal of the school, Paul D’Souza, dismissed the pleas of the boy’s father, and justified the expulsion saying that the school rules did not allow such ‘superstitious practices’.
- Hindu girls in Kanpur were severely punished by St Marys Convent for wearing Rakhee & applying mehandi. The students were made to stand in the sun and forced to wash off the mehandi by rubbing on a stone, which led to bleeding from their hands.
- Rs 500 fine imposed on a student for coming to Doveton School, Chennai with a Mehandi– a temporary Hindu tattoo. The school is run by Doveton Protestant Schools Association, one of the oldest schools in Chennai.
We have also reported on how the Principal of Mt. Carmel convent school in Delhi, Dr. Vijay Kumar Williams, regularly preaches Christianity and rubbishes Hindu Dharma in morning assembly of his group of schools.
To this, some Hindus will say, “Well, why do Hindu parents send their children to Christian schools if they feel strongly about such things?” To them, the answer is –
- Many Hindu parents are forced to send their children to convents as Hindu-run schools are being shut down due to a sectarian, draconian law like RTE. If RTE is not reversed soon, Christian missionaries will someday in the not too distant future acquire a monopoly on school education sector.
- Many Christian schools receive Government aid – still, they discriminate against Hindu students and impart sectarian Christian teachings. This is nothing but a mockery of secularism and the rule of law. At the same time, a completely unaided Hindu run school (i.e. one which receives no grants from the Government) is forced to comply with RTE regulations! Such an arrangement is unheard of in any other civilized country in the world. As this blog explains –“The current situation in India is split along minority/Hindu and aided/private axis as follows.
- If you are a private unaided Hindu-run school – you need to follow RTE rules and need NOC (a No Objection Certificate – a uniquely Indian license) and other establishment rules
- If you are an aided Hindu-run school – you need all of the above and you need to cede management control to school management committee. Essentially a shell.
- If you are minority unaided school – you have full autonomy and the RTE does not apply to you. The NOC process is extraordinary because you can approach NCMEI that Hindus cannot.
- If you are a minority aided school – you still have full autonomy except some very basic service conditions for teachers.
You can see how the Idea of India completely destroys the carefully constructed common law principles of ‘affectation with public interest’. If you are a minority – even if you run on public money you are treated like a private enterprise. If you are Hindu running the school without any government help – you are considered a public establishment.
India’s education law is spectacularly isolated in the world – there is no country where the majority community faces special burdens by law in this sector.”
- If the argument is that private Hindu schools receive land at subsidized rates from Government and also pay less taxes, hence they have a public obligation to comply with laws like RTE, well then the Christian schools and Churches are sitting on huge land banks granted to them by the British – these lands should have been nationalized long back. Moreover, many Christian institutions receive huge foreign funding through the FCRA route.
- It is true that many parents send their children to convents, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, as they want their children to learn ‘good English’ for better job prospects. We all need to reflect on why we have reached a situation today that all higher education in management, engineering, law, medicine today is provided only in English? Why did we allow this language apartheid to become so entrenched that we look down upon native languages as inferior? While other nations like Japan, China, Korea, Israel etc have become global powerhouses on the back of education provided in their mother tongue, what has this English-medium obsession really achieved for us? Learning English should be a good supplementary option for children – but to produce real innovation, we must promote native languages as bhashaneeti.org argues. Nevertheless, just because a Hindu parent decides to send his/her child to a convent does not give a license to the school to denigrate the child’s religion and way of life. What happened to religious tolerance and mutual respect that our intellectuals keep reminding Hindus about?
The fact that our education sector is in a mess and that Christian schools have a widespread network across the country, does not mean that they can do as they please & run roughshod over Hindus. We did not win a hard-fought independence from Britain just to sell out our cultural soul to the inheritors of the British colonial attitudes. Hindus are more than capable of running good quality schools, if the Government stops interfering and provides them a level playing field. And the hypocrisy of the whole intolerance and religious fundamentalism narrative peddled by left-liberals, which paints Hindus as indescribably evil out to persecute the poor Christians and Muslims, is just mind-boggling.
(Featured Image credit: quora.com)
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