23 November, 2017

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Indian Teachers Force Muslim, Lower Caste Students To Clean Toilets

School authorities in India persistently discriminate against children from marginalized communities, denying them their right to education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Tuesday. Four years after an ambitious education law went into effect in India guaranteeing free schooling to every child ages 6 to 14, almost every child is enrolled, yet nearly half are likely to drop out before completing their elementary education. The 77-page report, “‘They Say We’re Dirty’: Denying an Education to India’s Marginalized,” documents discrimination by school authorities in four Indian states against Dalit, tribal, and Muslim children. The discrimination creates an unwelcome atmosphere that can lead to truancy and eventually may lead the child to stop going to school. Weak monitoring mechanisms fail to identify and track children who attend school irregularly, are at risk of dropping out, or have dropped out. “India’s immense project to educate all its children risks falling victim to deeply rooted discrimination by teachers and other school staff against the poor and marginalized,” said Jayshree Bajoria, India researcher and author of the report. “Instead of encouraging children from at-risk communities who are often the first in their families to ever step inside a classroom, teachers often neglect or even mistreat them.” Detailed case studies examine how the lack of accountability and grievance redress mechanisms are continuing obstacles to proper implementation of the Right to Education Act. Human Rights Watch conducted research for this report in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Delhi, interviewing more than 160 people, including children, parents, teachers, and a wide range of education experts, rights activists, local authorities, and education officials. The Indian government should adopt more effective measures to monitor the treatment of vulnerable children and provide accessible redress mechanisms to ensure they remain in the classroom, Human Rights Watch said. According to the government, nearly half – over 80 million children – drop out before completing their elementary education. In drafting the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, the central government recognized exclusion of children as the “single most important challenge in universalizing elementary education.” But many education department officials at state, district, and local levels have been unwilling to acknowledge or accept that discrimination occurs in government schools, let alone attempt to resolve these problems, Human Rights Watch said. “The teacher tells us to sit on the other side,” said “Pankaj,” an eight-year-old tribal boy from Uttar Pradesh. “If we sit with others, she scolds us and asks us to sit separately. The teacher doesn’t sit with us because she says we ‘are dirty.’” Marginalized groups continue to face discrimination in India despite constitutional guarantees and laws prohibiting discrimination, Human Rights Watch said. School authorities reinforce age-old discriminatory attitudes based on caste, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Children from Dalit, tribal, and Muslim communities are often made to sit at the back of the class or in separate rooms, insulted by the use of derogatory names, denied leadership roles, and served food last. They are even told to clean toilets, while children from traditionally privileged groups are not. “Non-discrimination and equality are fundamental to the Right to Education Act and yet the law provides no penalties for violators,” Bajoria said. “If schools are to become child-friendly environments for all of India’s children, the government needs to send a strong message that discriminatory behavior will no longer be tolerated and those responsible will be held to account.” Most state education departments have failed to establish proper mechanisms to monitor each child, and intervene promptly and effectively to ensure they remain in school, Human Rights Watch said. Because there is no common definition for assessing when a child is considered to no longer be attending school, various states have different norms: in Karnataka, students are regarded as having dropped out of school after seven days of unexplained absence, in Andhra Pradesh it is a month, and in Chhattisgarh and Bihar it is three months. This lack of a common definition hinders efforts to recognize and address the problem. The Right to Education Act provides that children who have dropped out of school or older children who never attended school should be offered “bridge courses” to bring them up to speed so they can return to mainstream schools in an age-appropriate class. But state governments do not maintain proper records of these children, provide the additional resources needed for appropriate bridge courses, or track these children through completion of elementary schooling once they are in an age-appropriate class. Children of migrant workers, many belonging to Dalit and tribal communities, are most vulnerable to dropping out due to lengthy absences from school while searching for work with their parents. Yet the state governments do not keep track of these children in any systematic manner to ensure that they continue their education. The labor departments at state level are not properly carrying out programs meant for bringing child laborers back to school. And state education departments are not following up once a child is admitted to a mainstream school, which often results in the child’s return to work. Central and state authorities are not adequately supporting creative community-based mechanisms envisioned under the Right to Education Act such as “school management committees.” Parents told Human Rights Watch that they do not have adequate representation on these committees, and so they do not complain when there is injustice against their children because school authorities ignore the complaints or even reprimand the students. Guidelines adopted to address grievances have often not been implemented. India is a party to core international human rights treaties that protect children and provide for the right of everyone to education, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. International law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity, social origin, or other status. The Convention on the Rights of the Child obligates India to take measures to encourage attendance and reduce dropout rates, and ensure that the rights of the children are protected through effective monitoring. Prior to the national elections in India in April 2014, the major national parties made commitments in their election manifestos to improve elementary school education. The central and state governments should create clear indicators to detect and address discrimination in schools, and to lay out appropriate disciplinary measures for those found responsible, Human Rights Watch said. The government should create a system to monitor and track every child from enrollment through completion of elementary schooling, up to Grade VIII. The government should initiate proper training of teachers, so that they end exclusion and facilitate greater interaction among children of different socio-economic and caste backgrounds. “India’s political parties focused on education during the election campaign,” Bajoria said. “But whoever takes office will need to do more to ensure that children attend classes. An important law is set to fail unless the government intervenes now.” *Repoart by HRW

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  • 3
    4

    “Brahmins are created from god’s mouth and Dalits are created from God’s feet”. So those people need to be treated as per the importance of those organs. What a shame.

    http://youtu.be/uM85zVt6xCU

    http://youtu.be/If2Vad5NjD8

    http://youtu.be/dhKxNfQOSTU

    • 9
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      Created out of the mouth and feet are okay,but what about the ones that fell out of his arse.That is why we humans have had so many arseholes.

  • 10
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    If not for Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition Jaffna caste ghetto would be in a similar predicament today.

    • 4
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      Vibhushana

      “If not for Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition Jaffna caste ghetto would be in a similar predicament today.”

      May be you are right however the same Sri Lankan Buddhists could not and would not completely eradicate caste hierarchy among the Sinhala/Buddhists.

      By the way note in the past there had been Tamils who practiced Buddhism throughout the island. According to my Elders who have seen 1881 census, there were about 12,000 Tamil who claimed to have practiced Buddhism.

      You should thank them too.

      Unlike the Tamils and Sinhalese Veddahs don’t treat fellow humans differently. You got a lot to learn from my people.

      • 1
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        Native Veddah,

        “Unlike the Tamils and Sinhalese Veddahs don’t treat fellow humans differently. You got a lot to learn from my people.”

        Absolutely.

        Native Veddah Culture and Outlook is very Egalitarian. Their paying tribute to their immediate ancestors is more realistic than praying and asking help from unknown, myth based dogmas of the Paras, who imported their Myths religion fro outside.

        Out of the Paras, the Para-Tamil caste system is very bad. For-Para Sinhala, it is there and very visible. So, these Paras are Hindus and Buddhists, but practices Para-Caste discrimination. Then, they turn around and say the Native Veddah are not civilized because they do not believe in the Para-Myths and Para caste-discrimination.

        These Para, the Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils are really a bunch of Hypocrites

      • 1
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        Modern Tamils should please read the writings of Sebastian Rasalingam, a Tamil born during Donoughmore times to a very low caste, and then later moved to Hatton and Colombo in the fifties. He writes (in the Sri lanka Guardian, in an article titled: Keeping Tamil culture and uprooting the caste system from the North. http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/07/keeping-tamil-culture-and-uprooting.html ). All our Tamil journalists are from privileged strata (because education discriminates the lower castes). But Rasalingam is a very rare exception.

        “I explained to my grand daughters, born in Canada, that their grandmother’s elders came from India to work in Ceylon, and also returned to India with their savings, walking through the snake-infested, malarial forests of the Vanni. They could not even comprehend it. “Why wouldn’t they take the train, or something like the Greyhound bus”? Till almost the end of the 1940s, many estate workers did not dare to take the train, even if they had the money. If they managed to procure a ticket, they would only stay in the train till about Vavuniya or before. Once the train enters the “Tamil areas”, they knew that they could be beaten and thrown out of the moving train, with truly tragic results. Even in walking through the Vanni, they had to follow designated paths, avoiding high-caste villages, camp for the night and take water only from designated locations. Such locations could be suddenly torched and “cleansed” by zealous upper-caste Tamils who may even be Christians. Or, the walkers may have to do some work for a Periya-dorei, free of charge, to secure right of passage. Even in more recent times, low-caste train passengers going beyond Vavuniya knew the perils. Amazingly, no social scientists or “human-rights” researchers have bothered about delving into such matters.

        My baptism and admission to a Christian school helped me immensely to tunnel my way out of an inhumane society . The Christian Church is both a liberator and an invader. It was in turn invaded by caste-conscious Bishops who slowly edged out the Prince of Peace from the portals of the church. Even in Christian schools I had to carry a small stool or mat from class to class as only upper-caste kids could sit on chairs. My sisters were not sent to school, as that would have been going too far. “They might set fire to our house and destroy the girls if we don’t stay within our station in life”, was the simple explanation.
        …..
        When Colombo began to push socially progressive legislation like universal franchise, free education, women’s rights, worker’s rights etc., the Colombo Peria-Dorei class couldn’t stand it any more. The building of causeways giving access to depressed villages was followed by attempts to upgrade village councils to town councils, town councils to urban councils, and urban councils to municipalities. “Enough is enough”, said the Chelvanayagams, Ponnambalams, and other absentee land lords of these village councils and urban councils as they could not see why they should pay higher taxes for these “developments”. The idea of Eelam was born decades before “Sinhala Only”, as you can appreciate by a modern re-reading of the Hansard of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. Check how the upgrading of Jaffna to a municipal council was opposed tooth and nail by our Tamil leaders! Taking control of the North and East, away from Colombo, was the only possibility if the ruling class of the Tamils are to remain in the saddle.

        But their plan of riding on militant nationalism was hijacked by the even more militant “boys”…..

        Basically even during the Eelam war, when low caste villages ran for refuge into high-caste villages, they were driven away (see https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/recasting-caste-war-displacement-and-transformations/ ).

        So we Tamils have a very very long way to go, even today. It is useless for us to point the finger at the Sinhalese. They have got rid of much of the caste system. This generation may not face the facts, but the next generation will.

        • 2
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          Manoharan

          “It is useless for us to point the finger at the Sinhalese.”

          No they are not pointing their finger at Sinhalese. In fact Tamil speaking Demelas are pointing their finger at Sinhala speaking Demelas.

          Does that bother you?

    • 5
      3

      If not for Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition the 1983 pogrom would not have happened. If not for Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition Tamils will not be called ‘Para Demalas’. If not for Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition Muslims could live in peace today.

      • 2
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        “para” simply means foreign, or external. It was mostly applied to Indian labour and to “Kallathonis”. In Tamil also we do have அரதேசிபரதேசி and also
        Foreigner பரதேசி. The upper class Tamils referred to the Indian tamils as para-t-த்தமிழ், with implicit denigration.

        The Sinhalese version is Parademala, and here too, the Sinhalese are applying it with denigration. This is partly because the vast majority of Sinhalese in the south have come into contact with tamils who come down to work in estates, or as domestic help, cleaners etc. – so they are looked upon as inferior.

        The Sinhalese have traveled to the North mainly in pilgrimages to Nagadeepa, and to other ancient Buddhist shrines like Kantharoddai (Kadurugoda in sinhala). They don’t understand too much about Tamil society. The Tamils in the North are also are equally ignorant of the Sinhalese. The Christian Tamils, usually from the upper castes, feel arrogantly superior to the Sinhalese.

        This hubris of the Sinhalese upper class lawyers, and the even more strong hubris of the Tamil upper class made up of lawyers and British-era administrators, all living in Colombo and rivaling each other for power, have been a large contributor to the so called “national question”.

      • 0
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        If not for Sri lankan buddhism, a telugu origin person would not become a king in a sinhala kingdom, sinhala villagers giving away land in kandy for muslims for merit.And caring and sending food to medicine to the tamils when they sent bombs to blow people off.

    • 0
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

      • 2
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        Maveeran

        Have a glass of cold water before you start typing.

        How do you get along with your partner now? Domestic violence is still treated as crime.

        There is no concession for being a stupid Tamil. Being stupid Tamil cannot be considered as mitigating circumstances.

    • 1
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      Let’s not forget that all Tamils are victims of casteism and it was Brahmins whos allegiance is to Aryan culture that brought caste to South India and introduced it to Tamils. The same Aryans that you Sinhalese identify with .

      You Sinhalese are also furthring the Aryan goal to eradicate Tamil/Dravidian by ethnically cleansing and genociding Dravidians/Tamils and imposing Aryan linguistic identity (Sinhala is an Indo-Aryan tongue) on Tamils.

      So while you sit there denouncing caste, don’t forget how your own culture is furthering the same genocidal goal as those who created the Caste system, namely the subjugation and destruction of non-Aryan indegenous SubContinent culture.

      • 0
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        Sinhala are not aryan people, black skinned indigenous people of sri lanka. Take a look at pics of sinhala people of 1800s, the reason they now look fairer is because of genetic contribution from europeans. That is the same for SL tamils as well.

  • 6
    2

    Hindus are not alone in caste based discrimination in India.

    The Indian Muslim society is divided into Asrafs (noble) and non-Asrafs. Ashrafs and non-Ashrafs are collectively referred to as ‘oonchi zat’ (high caste) and ‘neechi zat’ (low caste).

    In the town of Trichy, situated in the heart of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a wall built across the Catholic cemetery clearly illustrates how caste-based prejudice persists.

    Those who converted to Christianity from the formerly “untouchable” Hindu caste groups known as Dalits are allocated space for burial on one side of the wall, while upper-caste converts are buried on the other side.

    • 1
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      Paul, Thank you for pointing this out. It emphasises the hypocrisy of the Dalits themselves.

      • 0
        1

        How come? As I see it Dalits are trying to escape abhorrent discrimination by even by changing their religion, and the new found religions are no different..

      • 0
        0

        You gave a comprehension problem. The Dalits even after converting are not allowed to be buried within the same graveyard as the deceased upper caste Christians.

  • 3
    0

    Modi will make all Muslims of India and SL slaves!

  • 1
    1

    I have worked for human rights for almost ten years and always had a place in my heart for the Dalits….until I discovered that there are sub-divisions of Dalits themselves and they don’t recognise each other. How can they expect the international community to respect and support them if they don’t even respect and support themselves?

    • 1
      0

      Dalits are a large group spanning most if not all of India, so ofcourse they are not going to be 1 monolithig group.

      There are divisions amongst Native Americans too, so does that mean their oppression under Whites is less.

      You expect Dalits to be perfect and not have any internal squabble, which is an immpossible expectation, as no group is without squabble.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
    0

    Estate children even at Maubre College in Kandy run by the Anglicans are treated differently from the school next door, Hillwood. One earlier Bishop in charge here even said that certain basic improvements in their education were not the Church’s duty when the mission schools were founded to serve the poor. Even the Principals were discriminative openly in their speech and actions a decade ago and I believe they still are.Bishop Dilo Canagasabey I hope will correct the gaping disparity between these two schools divided by just one wall, for a start. Christians hold that every person bears the image of God and is equal before God. We also believe that this divine image is less unsullied in children.

    Even in Killinochchi a survey in 2002 showed that so called lower caste and poor children are made to sit at the back and the teachers do not communicate with them. I believe the school bears a Saint’s name.

    Thus both Sinhalese and Tamils discriminate. Budhists, Hindus and Muslims discriminate. Even the Burgher teachers used to discriminate.
    Some even think it is high class to discriminate when they are acting so low.

    If C. W. W. Cannangara was not recognized by Rev. J. H. Darrel, taken by him to live with him and given free education he would have had to drop out of school.

  • 0
    0

    This is bloody disgraceful. When will these hypocrites learn justice decency and fairplay? Let us hope that it would not be worse under Modi. Bensen

  • 0
    1

    In India and Pakistan, the high caste Muslims are racist against the low caste Muslims.

    To these Indian and Pakistani high caste Muslims (who claim Aryan/Eurassian/Turkic/Iranic ancestry) , the vast majority of Sri Lankan Muslims are low caste Muslims because the latter are mostly of Tamil stock.

    They (high caste Muslims) view most Bangladeshi Muslims with the same revulsion because most Bangladeshis are dark skinned like South Indians and Sri Lanka, and show phenotypes indegenous to the SubContinent.

    What I learnt from Muslims, from reading and from living in the Gulf is that amongst Muslims there is a defacto ‘caste’ hierarchy. It goes like this: Persians,Levantines,Turkish and Arab Muslims on the top and SubCon Muslims and Malays on the bottom. Among SubCon Muslims the fair skinned sharp featured ones claim Eurassian origin and look down upon the dark skinned indegenous SubCon looking Muslims.

    Just look at Sri Lanka, the Iranic looking Memoms keep their distinct identity . From their phenotypes it is obvious they very deliberately have avoided mixing with the dark skinned Muslims and maintain a separateness.

    Same is true of the Sri lankan Muslims who look Arabian. while the men obviously took on Tamil , and to a lesser extent Sinhala, wives they also made sure to have Arab wives to keep producing Arabian looking offpsring. Rather like White males in South America who had children with fellow White women , but at the same time had offspring with Native women. This strategy allows the Whites or Arabs to gradually take over the lands they encroached upon by creating splits within the natives and creating a sizeable buffer demographic between the Whites (or Arabs in Ceylon’s case) and the natives.

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