A Christian minority matriculation school in Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu has become embroiled in controversy after reports have claimed that its students were punished for bursting firecrackers during Diwali.
The Tamil Nadu Education Department officials on Monday began a probe against a private school at Palakarai near Tiruchirappalli for allegedly punishing and insulting children who had celebrated Diwali.
Police said parents of the children blocked the gate and demanded action against the school authorities, including the head and physical education teacher, who they alleged, punished children who celebrated Diwali, burst crackers and applied Mehendi.
Students were beaten up for bursting firecrackers and applying mehendi, and were told to ‘seek the pardon of God’
S Sethuraman, a parent, said the school authorities had asked the children who had burst crackers on Diwali day to raise their hands and some children did so. Those who did were taken to task, he added.
He allged that a girl was beaten for applying mehandi on her hand,
The authorities had also reportedly asked children who burst crackers to seek pardon of God, he said.
Some children who said they did not celebrate Diwali were given appreciation letters.
The school authorities said they had only acted on the instructions of the Pollution Control Board to curb noise and smoke pollution.
Police have registered a case against the head of the school and physical education teacher on a complaint from Sethuraman.
Education Department officials, who conducted an enquiry in the school with the students and the heads, said the report would be sent to higher officials.
Police said it was the childrens’ right to celebrate Diwali and it was wrong on the part of the school to curb such practises.
This isn’t the only time schools have taken harsh action against students who have indulged in Hindu rituals.
It was reported in 2015 that a private school in Hyderabad had punished 6 girls for applying mehendi on the occasion of Dussehra. As per the report, the principle had thrown these girls out after the school had reopened.
Similarly a class 2 boy was fined Rs 500 by a Chennai school for applying henna on his hand during a family function. When the teacher noticed faint henna marks on the boy’s hand she immediately sent a note to the student’s parents, asking them to pay the fine.
Schools have also not shied away from taking action against teachers when it comes to such issues.
A 2012 report had claimed that a Chemistry teacher was suspended by a Chennai school after she recited a Hindu prayer to class XII students before they started their examinations. This act reportedly annoyed the teachers so much that they turned off the microphone while the prayer was being recited. As per a student of the school, usually a Christian prayer was sung on such days.
Courtesy: dnaindia.com and opindia.com