“During the Partition, you did not go to Pakistan. You stayed in India. You have no contribution to India’s freedom.”
Literacy is the root of a nation’s development. Literacy allows one to create a confident and courageous space for oneself and allows him or her the freedom of speech. And educational institutions like schools have been the hub of shaping young minds into literate citizens. But has this remained the same?
Not in a country like India. There are a lot of incidents that draw our attention to hate and bigotry rising in the corridors of educational systems. After hijab row and many other unrecognisable incidents, today we have found another talk of the town. The incident of a teacher compelling other students to beat a Muslim student.
In a video that has sparked outrage on social media, a teacher, Tripta Tyagi from Neha Public School in Khubbapur, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh is seen telling other students to hit a seven-year-old Muslim student. She has also been seen making communal remarks. Police booked Ms. Tyagi at the complaint of the boy’s family, under IPC sections 323 and 504 — both non-cognizable offences.
This and several other incidents prove the discrimination occurring in the educational systems of India. Likewise, a 15-year-old Arnazbanu Sipahi from Mehsana, Gujarat was not called for a felicitation ceremony by her school despite holding the first position in the Class X board exams at her school, on Independence Day. She cried; teachers told her parents she’d get a prize ‘later’! She didn’t want the prize; she wanted recognition, which her school denied. The hijab row is another hurdle in the education of Muslim women. Many girls who are equally capable and desire to reach great heights are not able to because of this intolerance that they are facing.
One more incident says that four students of Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya have filed a comment against their teacher who asked them to go to Pakistan. The teacher said, “During the Partition, you did not go to Pakistan. You stayed in India. You have no contribution to India’s freedom.”
When teachers call the students a “terrorist” in good humour, when teachers just get a Muslim student slapped brutally as a form of vindictive punishment, when teachers ask their students to “go to Pakistan” or when teachers deny recognition of achievements because of a particular religion you know there is no redeeming this communal rot within.
Schools were considered a second home for students and teachers as their second mothers. But this idea has now become a facade to me because, in the current scenario, the minorities have not been feeling safe in these second homes. The mothers that they have are not as loving and considerate as they should be. This was never a part of India’s culture. History says it all. The divide-and-rule policy was played by the British and it was their conspiracy to sow the seeds of hate and intolerance in the minds of Indians. The freedom struggle took place irrespective of caste, creed, religion or culture. It was a noteworthy movement that brought everyone together. Made India a tolerant state that fought the cultural differences created by the British. But today because of these differences the educational system of India seems bleak and unpromising.
Similarly, these incidents have made the politicians play their dirty games on the ground. The opposition and the ruling party are in their battles fighting for a seat in the parliament by “just” discussing the situation. And neither of them has brought deserving justice to the victims. One after the other is making claims. And the media has made it more difficult for the victims to heal from the trauma that they have faced.
The boy who was beaten was suffering from insomnia and his family has been fighting for the justice that they deserve. Similarly, the girl who was denied recognition in front of everyone would have lost the confidence and hopes of achieving anything further in life. Young minds are very delicate entities and anything small or big could trigger their mental state, their thoughts and their perception of life. That is why schools have been considered the ultimate source of one’s overall development. But incidents like these have created cultural and religious differences even among children leading to the destruction of India’s peace and harmony. Not only the victims but also the students present in class are affected by this kind of treatment. This is going to change the mindsets of other students and incorporate prejudice into their minds.
It is the need of the hour to have a check on our educational institutions from schools to colleges and implement steps that ensure the removal of discrimination among students. Justice has to be made with the victims and with other students. Strict actions need to be taken against these teachers who read hate and manipulate young minds. The youth must be provided with an environment that secures their future with flying colours and does not involve them in trivial issues of communal hate. India would only be able to achieve success when its youth would have a tolerant nature and are united in all ways.