Chennai: Several Hindu organisations are up in arms over the 'controversial' school education director's circular on alleged caste discrimination in some schools, and sought to know if it was issued with the concurrence of state government or school education minister. Though the move to eliminate caste discrimination was welcome, the order will pave way to prevent the children from applying vibhuthi or vermilion, they said.
“The order has been issued with an ulterior motive to prevent the students from celebrating Raksha Bandan tomorrow,” asserts V. Subramanian, secretary Jankalyan. He also questioned the timing of the order and sought to know what had prevented the school authorities from inspecting the schools which discriminated against caste and take stringent action on those who violated rather than paint all schools black.
Hailing the school education department's move to end caste discrimination, Hindu Munnani founder-convener Ramagopalan wanted to know if the same department would take any action on the students wearing crosses or skullcaps. “Is wearing crosses or skullcaps part of the uniform? Isn't this the kind of uniform that makes the students stand apart from the rest? Is this not a sign of religion? What is the response of the education department to this?” he asked.
Mr. Ramagopalan further wanted to know the steps taken by the education department on the Hindu Munnani's complaint that schools distributed free copies of the Bible to students. “Does this not amount to imposing their religion?” he asked.
Alleging that the hundreds of persons with dubious background claiming to be students have occupied the state-run hostels meant for school and college students, Mr. Ramagopalan asked the officials to take action on the 'outsiders.' He said the circular which views with suspicion the tradition of applying sacred ash or kumkum on the forehead, should be revoked....