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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

“Who is he to ban Vibhuti?”, students protest against teacher in TN

Students of a government school in Tamil Nadu protested against a teacher who threatened them to not wear sacred thread and Vibhuti(sacred ash). As no action was taken against the teacher despite multiple complaints, students staged a protest in front of the school.

Boys studying at the Chinnasamy Ammal Boys Higher Secondary School in Tirupur were reportedly asked to not wear the sacred thread and Vibhuti to school by some teachers. They complained that the Assistant Headmaster(AHM) and another teacher abused them and asked the students to not wear kalawa and Vibhuti in a threatening tone.

Students had registered their discontent about the behaviour of these teachers with the Headmaster. But it appears that no action was taken against them and the next day AHM again threatened students to remove kalawa and Vibhuti. Opposing this, students boycotted classes and protested. Police officials and the Education Department assured them of action against the teachers and convinced them to return to classes. 

A few weeks ago the Department of Social Welfare had issued a circular to schools banning kalawa supposedly to eradicate caste differences among students. It is believed that in some parts of the state students wear different colored threads to identify with their castes and conflicts erupt between different caste groups based on this. But the circular mentions things worn by Hindus only and other religious artefacts like rosary, etc are not banned.

Taking it one step further the teachers in Tirupur school seem to have banned Vibhuti as well. Such incidents of mocking Hindu identity and banning them in schools have been on the rise ever since DMK came to power. 

In 2021, a Hindu girl studying in a government aided Christian school was asked to remove Vibhuti and humiliated in front of her classmates for refusing to do so.

In another such incident students of another government funded Christian school were beaten up and called misfits and rowdies for wearing Vibhuti.

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