Chennai: Days after reports emerged that Tamil Nadu Education Department was making students wear different-coloured wrist bands based on their castes, Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan said that no action would be taken in the matter.
Sengottaiyan said, “The tradition of students wearing coloured-wrist bands will continue. The circular was not brought to my notice and I was not aware of it.”
Senior BJP leader H Raja told News18 that he welcomed the AIADMK move. He said, “The circular even bans a tilaka on the forehead. How can a government ban Hindu symbols? When you allow crosses to be worn and you don’t ban pardha, how can the government do this?”
On July 31, Directorate of School Education had issued a circular which directed senior officials from various districts to identify schools where students were being made to wear wrist bands to segregate them on the basis of caste. The Department had also asked for a report from all districts on what action has been taken in this regard.
The circular stated: “It is informed that the officer trainees of IAS 2018 batch lodged a representation to the Government where it has been stated that in some schools in Tamil Nadu, the students were made to wear colour-coded wrist bands.”
The wristbands, which come in shades of red, yellow, green and saffron indicate whether the student belongs to the “lower class” or “upper class”. In addition to this, rings and forehead “tilaka” on the forehead also serve as caste markers....