SocietyCampus Alarming Casteism In Schools In India: A Painful Warning

Alarming Casteism In Schools In India: A Painful Warning

In schools across India, Dalit and Muslim students face caste and religious discrimination and violence limiting their access to education
» Editors Note: #MoodOfTheMonth for August 2023 is Caste, Religion And CampusWe invite submissions on this theme throughout the month. If you would like to contribute, kindly refer to our submission guidelines and email your articles to shahinda@feminisminindia.com

A 17-year-old Dalit boy from Concordia Government School, Nellai District, Tamil Nadu, and his 14-year-old younger sister were allegedly attacked by a group of class 12 boys from the same school.

According to the reports, the Tamil Nadu Police detained six minor boys for attacking the dalit student after he complained to his school management about the three boys allegedly harassing him.

Casteism in schools
Source: The Swaddle

The news report further says that the accused attacked the boy because he refused to buy cigarettes for them. The victim, unable to endure the torture, shared the harassment and prolonged bullying with his parents and stopped going to school. Recently, the school administration called him and his parents, and the boy explained the agony of the abuse to the school headmaster sharing how he was tolerating the harassment from the accused students. The school administration, after warning the juveniles, advised the boy to continue coming to the school.

As revenge, the boys and their friends allegedly assaulted the victim, barging into his house with a machete.

The victim’s sister has also been injured in the attack, and both were admitted to the nearby medical college.

The report further says that the police have registered a case under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Section of attempted murder. Even though the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act came into force to protect the SC/ST people, justice is still uncertain.

According to another report, in schools across our nation, a large proportion of around 200 million Dalits face caste discrimination and violence. These incidents keep many children at bay from schools, making education a distant dream for them.

According to another report, in schools across our nation, a large proportion of around 200 million Dalits face caste discrimination and violence. These incidents keep many children at bay from schools, making education a distant dream for them.

Uttar Pradesh school teacher booked after viral video

Before the heat of this news and the discussion settled down, and while debates were heating up regarding how the school despite being the platform to mold children against casteism, harassment, and violence changed its trajectory to an alarming situation, another news story about a horrific incident found the spotlight in the media headlines.

Islamophobia in schools
Source: The Swaddle

A viral video of a teacher named Tripti Tyagi from Muzzaffarnagar asking students to slap a fellow classmate sparked outrage in India, the world’s largest democracy with 1.4 billion people.

The video of the incident that took place in Uttar Pradesh shows a student who is crying as the teacher calls each student in the classroom to slap him. The teacher is also heard saying, ‘Do it properly,’ and shows no sense of guilt.

The video of the incident that took place in Uttar Pradesh shows a student who is crying as the teacher calls each student in the classroom to slap him. The teacher is also heard saying, ‘Do it properly,’ and shows no sense of guilt.

The teacher in the video refers to his religious faith and says ‘I have declared that all Muslim children should go‘.

The police have also booked the teacher in the video after the student’s family filed a complaint under IPC sections 323 and 504. 

However, after the video went viral and became the talk of the country, the teacher spoke to the media, defending her intent with the statements in the video to “control” the students and about the need to control the students.

There are many campuses that inculcate inclusivity as a priority along with academic studies. But these news reports in the media show how deep-rooted caste and religious divisions are and how they have become a dangerous tool to trigger peace in our country.

Rajasthan witnessed the death of a 15-year-old school boy

It has been only a few days since the world woke up to a horrendous story of the harassment that led to the suicide of a 15-year-old Dalit student in Jawahar Navodaya School, Rajasthan. The reports say that two of his teachers allegedly harassed him physically and verbally with casteist remarks. The boy was found dead in the classroom after the incident.

This isn’t the first incident, not even the second or third. Many make it to the headlines; some become just victims of the prevailing caste system.

The previous year, during the same time, a similar incident happened in Jodhpur, Rajastan, where a Dalit boy was killed for allegedly touching the water pot, and the teacher even tried to buy the silence of the victim’s parents after it sparked outrage

.The previous year, during the same time, a similar incident happened in Jodhpur, Rajastan, where a Dalit boy was killed for allegedly touching the water pot, and the teacher even tried to buy the silence of the victim’s parents after it sparked outrage

How many more victims of the caste system should the world need until it stops for good?

These news reports pointing out the religious divisions and indoctrination among children are a warning that cannot be neglected. The state and society together need to take it into their own hands before it leads to violence.

The controversy regarding these incidents is still unfolding, and there could be many more incidents that don’t even make it to the news.

Who will put an end to these lessons in hate?

Be it awareness or education, every single change in society should start in one’s own household. And the next place to learn and unlearn many things are schools and colleges.

But with the schools being the hotbeds of casual casteism and violence and any other environment where children are capable of getting influenced, this is a dangerous warning towards a society that leads to nothing but divisions.

But with the schools being the hotbeds of casual casteism and violence and any other environment where children are capable of getting influenced, this is a dangerous warning towards a society that leads to nothing but divisions.

Man holding up Dalit Lives Matter poster
(Getty Images: David Talukdar/NurPhoto)
Source: ABC

India is a country that is rich in its unity and diversity, and to maintain the richness and peace in the diversity, each of us is responsible for not breaking or diverting it to mere controversial divisions.

Such caste atrocities in the news, especially in educational institutions, mirror the part of society that needs to be worked on.

Such caste atrocities in the news, especially in educational institutions, mirror the part of society that needs to be worked on. Especially the angered childhood that is a result of casteist indoctrination and condition from the casual casetism that they encounter on a daily basis. 

Polluting the minds of children with the usage of words that are connected to caste and divisions also leads to them learning and inculcating various racist and misogynistic beliefs. Children, being the future of the world, need a perspective that benefits the world around them to be a safe and kind space. Even though many individual attempts to mold society against casteism have been boycotted or met with violence, it is important for each of us to ensure a safe space for the future generation by inculcating the difference between religious knowledge and religious instructions they get from campuses, before the religious outrage pollutes the mindset of the children.

Our nation has a long way to go until there comes a day when there are no news reports highlighting any student who gets ostracized in schools in the name of religion or caste.


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