Christian High School management harasses students for applying tilak, bindi and wearing bracelets

Students at Mount Carmel High School located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh have accused the school management of harassing them for applying tilak/bindi to their foreheads and girls for wearing bangles.

Reportedly, management has called it an “offence” for the application of tilaks to the forehead by boys and the wearing of bracelets and bindi by girls. Those who sport a tilk/bindi or wear bracelets face a hefty fine, the students say.

A report from a monthly magazine named ‘Hindu Nagara’ said that 36 students at the school applied for Transfer Certificates (TC) as they were being harassed by the school management.

The school administration has also been accused of forcing Christian beliefs on non-Christian children by making them attend compulsory Bible reading lessons and Christian religious prayers during morning, evening and lunch hours. The walls of all classrooms in said school are also painted with the image of Jesus Christ, students say.

It has also been found that the school management frequently invites strangers into the school and has them interact with underage students. These foreigners would be missionaries working for evangelical charities.

Many students reportedly stopped attending school because they could not stand the bullying. However, they were unable to join another school because Mount Carmel School demands exorbitant money from parents for the TC show.

Preliminary investigations by the NGO Watchdog Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) revealed that there are no educational institutions for minorities in the Kurnool district. According to LRPF, the school falsely claims to have “minority institution” status because the RTI mentions that there are no minority Christian institutions in the district.

“It is clear that Mount Carmel School is also in violation of Articles 25 and 28 (3) of the Constitution of India and various provisions of the Right to Education Act, Juvenile Justice Act and the on the regulation of foreign contributions,” the LRPF noted in its complaint to the National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (NCPCR).

Jeremy S. McLain