Dalit Students Allege Discrimination For Being Asked To Sit Outside School To Watch PM Modi’s ‘Pariksha Par Charcha’
February 19th, 2018
Dalit students of a government high school in Himachal Pradesh were allegedly asked to sit outside to watch PM Modi’s Pariksha Par Charcha programme. According to a report by The Indian Express, the place where the Dalit students were asked to sit down was the place used for cattle and horses. The incident happened in Chesta gram Panchayat, Kullu in Himachal Pradesh.
The Panchayat had made arrangements for students to watch the programme at the residence of the head of school management committee. It was reported that the students were asked to sit outside by a teacher called Mehar Chand. Kullu Deputy Commissioner has received a complaint by some of the students.
In the complaint, written in Hindi, the students alleged that they have also become victims of caste discrimination during midday meals. “Students belonging to Scheduled Caste category are made to sit separately. Even the headmaster does nothing. He also practices untouchability,” the complaint stated.
Kullu deputy commissioner Yunus termed this incident as a serious matter and said that a magisterial probe has been ordered. “SDM Kullu, Sunny Sharma, will hold the magisterial inquiry. The report has been sought in the next two days,” he said. “Disciplinary action has already been initiated against the headmaster. If the incident is confirmed, criminal liability will be fixed,” he said.
Anusuchit Jati, a local organisation lodged a protest against the schools and asked Rajan Bhardwaj, the school headmaster and Jagdish Pathania, deputy director of education, Kullu to give an explanation. “The headmaster, Rajan Bhardwaj, has confirmed the incident and tendered an apology, assuring that this will not be allowed to happen again. But that’s not enough,” a member of the organization said.
“This matter has come to my notice today. I have asked Secretary, Education to get a report and take stern action. I have also been told that Dalit students faced discrimination in the school earlier too, during midday meals. If these reports are true, we will not spare the guilty,” said Suresh Bhardwaj, the state education minister. Arun Sharma, the state secretary of education said that the government would seek a report from the local administration and would take suitable action.
Pariksha Par Charcha
Pariksha Par Charcha is an extension of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charcha theme. PM Modi on February 16 addressed thousands of students in the country and discussed their exam related concerns. Prakash Javadekar, Union Human Resource Development minister was also present along with the PM. The programme was aired days after Modi has published his book ‘Exam Warriors,’ containing his tips to help students to stay calm before the exam.