Reality Check India

Boys tuft cut off by Christian school

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on January 6, 2010

The not so important story is this :

They were upset with the school principal, who had allegedly cut off the pigtail of a Brahmin student against his wishes. According to the Saki Naka police, Parvesh Dubey, 14, a Class VIII student of St Jude’s High School, had grown a pigtail for religious reasons and had been asked to cut it as it was against the school’s rules. “My son has a problem with his vision and we had prayed to our family deity, saying that we would not get his pigtail cut till his vision was restored,” said Parvesh’s father, Mr Shivkumar Dubey. On Tuesday, Parvesh’s class teacher saw that he had not cut his pigtail despite repeated warnings and sent him to the principal’s office. The principal, Father France Fernandes, picked up a pair of scissors on his desk and snipped it off.

Source : DC

Before you take off  with :  “WTF, a Hindu is not allowed to keep the most ancient symbol of all, the tuft in his own soil” – read the following.

The really important story is :

Forget about the lack of coverage in the ELM for a moment. Remember this is an almost exact equivalent of the Mangalore burqa case. That case was covered non stop : See burkha issue in Mangalore. However, do not jump on the Muslims here. They did not ask for the coverage. It was largely Hindu media persons proxying for them.

Lets work with what we have (blogs and twitter).

First off : Is it wrong for Christian schools to enforce a code that conforms to their religion ? In the print edition of the Deccan Chronicle the principal includes marks such as Bindis in his list of undesirable items. Sounds like neither the tuft nor the bindi fits in with their rules. So what gives ?

Why are parents sending their children to such schools if they feel so strongly about Hindu religious symbols ?

The answer lies in the fact that Christian educational institutes dominate the education scene in India.  This in no way takes away from the fact that they have admirably filled in the void left by the governments’ exit from running quality schools.

This is due to historical and policy reasons.  The British transferred management of almost all elite colleges to Christian trusts when they left India. Policy wise, the constitution of India encourages the minorities to open and operate schools without government interference. See previous posts on how the RTE Act (caste + economic quota) wont apply to minority schools. None of this is out of order.

The really strange thing about all this is, that the minority institutions especially the elite ones such as St Stephens and St Xaviers admit a lot (maybe even a majority of Hindus) and the courses offered are secular ones unrelated to Christian character.  This effectively means that the constitutional right has been morphed into one that anoints them with “preferred community for operating educational institutes” . The lack of scrutiny and definition leaves them with very little burden to impart Christian education.

The right approach is to force minority institutes to admit 80-100% from their community to keep its nature intact and justify constitutional sanction.

Obligatory reference to data controlled compromise of equality

How can Christians despite having such control of education from pre-nursery to post graduate claim space on the social justice platform too ? (Tip : All Christians in TN and many other states are classified as backward) Of course, the response would immediately be : If Hindu caste -X which claims top spots in the open competition can be backward why cant Christians ?  Very valid question and the buck really has to stop there. We need an analysis of the utilization of the social justice programs in this country. This includes auditing minority (both religious and linguistic) institutes to see if they are maintaining their character and serving their community members.

25 Responses

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  1. A soul in exile said, on January 7, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Mangalore Burqa case or even the Muslim schoolboys case who was disallowed a beard in a UP Christian school – both were hyped by media… but no news abt this anywhere

  2. Ot said, on January 8, 2010 at 10:18 am

    But supposing the angry locals beat up that dirtbag principal, Burkha Dutt would personally camp in the premises of the school to scream her lungs off about the atrocities on minorities (and upgrade her Padma Sri to Vibhushan). Tails I win heads you lose.

    That’s pretty much what happened a few years ago in Rajastan. A Christian school did some mischief. I don’t remember the details — it had to do something with forcing Hindu children to read the bible or some such thing. This was no news. The upset parents tore up the bibles, and that was BIG news.

  3. froginthewell said, on January 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    It is one thing to suspend the boy for wearing pig-tails, saying it doesn’t fit in with the rules. But cutting off the pig-tails is a slightly different ball game.

  4. xyz said, on January 11, 2010 at 7:06 am

    My blood boils and I am in a rage.

    This sham will go on until there is 100% literacy.In that sense the much abused TN system is atleast guaranteeing an engineering degree to everyone.

  5. KGN said, on January 11, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Guys, cool up. We are living in a perfect secular country. Btw, if you dont know the meaning of Secular refer Kgntionary (KGN’s Dictionary)

    sec·u·lar·ism (sěk’yə-lə-rĭz’əm)
    Religious skepticism or indifference.

    The view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs or public education.

    sec’u·lar·ist n., sec’u·lar·is’tic adj.

    Religion at macro level includes all religion and faiths of the world but for so called “Hinduism”

    At micro level, it includes all caste that falls under Hinduism but for Brahmins.

  6. Xo said, on January 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I fail to understand what the problem is. Yes, the principal may have been a bit high handed in cutting off the hair, but if instead the student were to be suspended, who would have lost. It would have been the student obviously.

    I have studied in a Convent and also in a Public school run by a Hindu. Personally I saw no difference other than the fact that the convent charged me 1/2 of what I paid later at the Hindu owned school.

    We stress for Uniformity and when some one does it and it does not fit us, we raise a hue and cry. I personally do not know of any convent that allows its Christian students to dress like a Nun / Pope or its Muslim students to wear a beard (a case on which is I believe in the Supreme Court) or come with a Burqa, so why allow a pony tail.

    Lets not equalize ourselves to being a Hindu Taliban. Those who grow are those who accept the change, others are left behind.

    • rc said, on January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      Cutting off the tuft is physical trespass. Even ignoring that, the larger issue is the distortion being create in society by the ‘minority educational institute status’. If the school teaches ‘secular stuff’, then it should lose that privilege.

      I am not sure if that school enjoys that status but if it does it should only admit a large majority of Christians and should be geared towards Christian education.

      • Xo said, on January 13, 2010 at 2:12 am

        >> . If the school teaches ’secular stuff’, then it should lose that privilege.

        What is the privilege they are getting that say a College run by a Linguistic Minority does not get? (Ex: Oxford College in Bangalore is run by Raju, a Telugu guy and hence is a minority owned college).

        I am in Bangalore but I feel the same may be elsewhere and ask you to make another comparison. In Bangalore, in the heart of the city we have Martha’s Hospital. Just outside Bangalore (on Kengeri – Uttarhalli Road), we have another hospital by name BGS Global Hospital.

        Martha’s is I believe run by a Christian. I have no idea how its funded. BGS is run by Bal Gangadaranatha Swami and the whole funding I feel is by hindus. Just go to both hospitals and ask for cost of a simple operation. I am willing to bet that BGS will be twice as costly as Martha’s if not more.

        Forget lower class, even middle class cannot afford BGS. Unless we Hindu’s really start to serve others, lets not worry about the reasoning behind why people of other faith serve us.

        Our famiy Mutt is Sringeri. Its one of the wealthiest mutt in the country, but if some one asks me what they have done for the community as a whole, I am left with no credible answer.

        If Govt enforces what you are asking for – No admission to Christian schools / colleges and no treatment at Christian hospitals, huge population will just have to go with low quality of education offered by Govt or be illiterate. As regards to quality at Govt run hospitals, well, even the poor try to avoid it as far as possible.

      • rc said, on January 13, 2010 at 4:46 am

        Yes, the linguistic minority policy is also seriously flawed. This policy pretty much attaches all migrants to their community leaders, who can then proxy for them. More death to free agent voters.

        The common idea that the ‘father’ should ban the ponytail as well as the ‘father costume (whatever that means)’ in order to promote uniformity is utterly wrong. It exposes a lack of understanding of the ‘minority institute’ policy.

        If the school is a Christian minority institute, then it should actively encourage Christian symbols and methods of teaching. If not, its status should drop to that of a non-minority school (say like one being run by mutts).

        Since you are in Bangalore, you should check out St Johns Medical College (the huge campus) for a model minority college. It admits atleast 80% Christians. CMC Vellore is also a good model, it encourages Christian service also admits a huge majority of Christians. On the other hand, St Stephens, Xavier, Loyola are secular colleges that need to have their minority status examined.

        These little compromises to equality may not seem like much, but they distort the electoral process.

        I do agree more needs to be done by the Hindus. Indian business magnates are the least philanthropic in the world despite being beneficiaries of fake socialist and anti-competitive policy that enable a lot of them to stick on.

  7. xyz said, on January 12, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Mr. Fanatic,
    The parent of the boy objected to the punishment.It is an outrage against the faith.Surely you do not care more for the boy than him.

    And what uniformity.The christists are doing whole sale prostitution of education.It is pure greed/cheating/fanaticism/exploitation/swindling taking refuge under the liberal provisions of Constitution.This anti national work has been going on from British/portuguese times.What else can one expect from the descendants of the Inquisitionists?

    But boy! This will not go on for ever.The evil reign will be challenged sooner than you think.

  8. Ot said, on January 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Ox, the point is that this episode makes the Hindu-baiting Commie-Catholics look a bit silly with their “vulnerable minorities” thesis. If that tuftphobic catholic principal was vulnerable to anything at all, he was vulnerable to the Christian dogma that the devil lurked in pagan symbols like the tuft. This irrational hatred of Hindus inspired by blind belief in quran or bible is what could make minorities potentially vulnerable; not the fact that they are “minorities”. I suggest again that you read people like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris to understand how the Abrahamic faiths inspire hatred of the other among their followers, and how this unprovoked hatred is generating conflict all over the world.

  9. Ot said, on January 13, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Dear Xox,

    >>In Bangalore, in the heart of the city we have Martha’s Hospital.

    That the evangelicals run a hospital in the center of the city on land granted gratis by the Christian British does not make it a good idea that they can get aggressive on Hindus and cut off their tufts. Getting high-handed is what makes “minorities” “vulnerable”, because it invites counter-highhandedness, as happened in Gujarat and Orissa. Suppose you hate your neighbor because he likes to wear flamboyant clothes but your personal god demands that one should always be dressed modestly in a flowing robe. One fine morning you can’t stand it any longer because god is screaming in your head so you attack him and tear off his green pajamas. You cannot expect him to get the point, can you? Theological thuggery of the Abrahamic variety is at the root of the current turmoil in the world. Of course, I am assuming that you don’t want this turmoil. But as its apologists Commie-Catholics definitely need to read Harris and Dawkins, who are atheists not Hindus, so you should approach them with an _open_ mind, even if that’s a bit difficult the first time.

    • Xo said, on January 13, 2010 at 4:22 am

      As I said, cutting off is wrong and is unfortunate. Approaching the courts is the best way to solve the situation, but then again, you may already know what the courts will decree.

      What RC seems to be saying is that all Christian schools should become the way Madrasas have become. Purely religious teaching for their own.

      Does it help anyone if such a thing is done? While Marthas hospital may be situated on land given by British, BGS sits on lands given by Government. Surely both were provided free or at very low cost. So, why the disparity in charges. BGS in last budget too got some funds allocated, not sure is something of that sort was done for other religions as well.

      A lot of Engg / Medical Colleges are run by Hindu Mutts. How many reserve seats / provide Schloraships for poor Hindus. My knowledge – None. Compare this to Christian Institutes which provide scholarships to the needy (Christians only).

      Why do colleges run by our Mutts not do the same. Lets first see what we are before pointing fingers at others is my viewpoint.

      Breast beating can do nothing other than show us as poor losers. Lets first clean ourselves before asking others to clean up.

      • rc said, on January 13, 2010 at 4:52 am


        >>What RC seems to be saying is that all Christian schools should become the way Madrasas have become. Purely religious teaching for their own.

        I am saying that if they want to run secular colleges then they should lose the constitutional protections under the minority educational institute tag.

        Under the current scheme : The constitution simply anoints the community as a ‘preferred vendor of education’. This benefit is preventing the release into free-agent-voter-hood millions of Indians.

  10. Ot said, on January 13, 2010 at 4:40 am

    >>As I said, cutting off is wrong and is unfortunate. Approaching the courts is the best way to solve the situation

    But that’s the whole point Xox. The world does not run according to Commie-Catholic precepts. If violent “minorities” precipitate unfortunate incidents out of religious fanaticism, an unfortunate reaction may follow instead of a court case. You may believe that the bible gives you the right to attack a green-pajama-wearer but that the victim must go to courts, but the victim may not share your biblical perspective. You really ought to see Dawkin’s video “The Root of all Evil?” to get to know how Christian evangelicals are brainwashed to precipitate unfortunate incidents. Solve that problem of Abrahamic intolerance, and you don’t have to convince anybody that evangelical college fees are below market rates.

    >>So, why the disparity in charges

    Again, there allegedly is disparity in charges is no good reason to attack those who do not share your faith. If you believe you are overflowing with the milk of human kindness, you don’t show that kindness by attacking Hindus, do you?

  11. Xo said, on January 13, 2010 at 5:22 am

    >> you don’t show that kindness by attacking Hindus, do you?

    Am I? I am just putting the facts and asking why? None of the replies have answered why no hue and cry is raised on those issues.

    What I am trying to see is if I can open up a debate on what we can do instead of just breast beating.

    I, you among others can afford a better education / healthcare. Its the poor who are the worst affected and hence the first persons that evangelists try to enlist.

    People cannot be brainwashed easily unless they are pushed into a corner and the only hope they see is the one that evangelists offer. Compared to Muslims who seemed to be brain washed easily (forget un-educated, even highly educated ones like the Nigerian Bomber) who seem to go astray pretty easily, Hindu’s do have more strength in that area.

    As regards to the Media, Yes, its biased. I do not really know what we can do to take the bias out, suggestions (practical) are welcome though.

    PS: Am a brahmin myself and no believer of Bible. Have always voted for the BJP even though I feel that they are not doing anything for the Hindu’s as a whole just because of the TINA factor. They seem to be more speak than action.

  12. Ot said, on January 13, 2010 at 7:26 am

    >>People cannot be brainwashed easily unless they are pushed into a corner and the only hope they see is the one that evangelists offer.

    In the Rayalaseema area of Andhra, an arid region where there are many poor people despite having been ruled till recently by an evangelist, all it takes is mere 1000 rupees to hire a supari killer. You can’t blame the poor people really. But what about the extremist, who, fed on a daily dose of biblical nonsense, wants to save the world by attacking tuft-wearers?

    That principal is NOT imparting education to poor people at low fees; he is spreading intolerance and bigotry around.

    While on the subject, it doesn’t take only poor people to get brainwashed. Look at you. You got convinced that tuftphobic evangelicals are good even if they spread hatred because the fees in their schools are allegedly low. I recommend that you also watch that Dawkins’ video, where you will see several white Christians — middleclass, like you — spitting venom.

    >>I, you among others can afford a better education / healthcare.

    I am touched by your concern for the poor, but emotional blackmail is not a good tactic to demand respect or special rights for intolerant ideologies. The communists were full of love of the poor, but look how many people they killed — poor, mostly?

    Bang in the middle of Bangalore not far from Brigade Road, there’s a state-of-the-art auditorium owned by a evangelical school which ought to have invested that money in poor people. Instead, it rents out the auditorium to corporates and other moneybags at hairy prices — all tax-exempt income because it is a “minority” institution making good use of prime real-estate that it got for free from friendly white Christians who ruled us. Which brings up a question: why should religion — especially one which spreads hate — receive special status from the state? (I am an atheist, and I see no scientific basis in religious belief). Should state subsidize irrational beliefs?

    To put this question in perspective, imagine that flat-earthism is a religious belief, and that the flat-earth bible encourages flat-earthers to hate sane people if the latter won’t convert to flat-earthism. What if the state starts giving doles to flat-earthism? Isn’t that an affront to rationality and discrimnation against sane people? And how logical is a belief in virgin birth anyway? Both flat-earthism and virgin-birthism are equally stupid, but guess what, the state subsidizes virgin-birthers even when they go about hating and attacking tuft-wearers.

    If for a moment you’ll set aside your love of theological thuggery, you’ll realize how illogical this idea of granting special rights to violent religions is. So yes, RC has a point. If Chrsitsian fundamentalists want to force their students to accept that Mary got knocked up without really getting knocked up, they should do so without any state support.

    • Xo said, on January 13, 2010 at 7:48 am

      >> you’ll realize how illogical this idea of granting special rights to violent religions is

      Anywhere I mentioned that I supported those rights? Both religious and linguistic minority can do well without the state, but will the state relent.

      Reservation has become a hot potato and the way I see, I feel that like it or not it will stay. No Political party has spoken out against reservation. Infact everyone is trying to see where the next area where reservation can be accomplished to please the electorate they are targeting.

      My debate started with this point from RC,

      >> The right approach is to force minority institutes to admit 80-100% from their community to keep its nature intact and justify constitutional sanction

      I just argued why that was stupid to say the least but also counter productive. I studied at a Convent since the other school nearby my place and run by Udupi Mutt charged (am speaking of 80’s) and still charges 2 – 3 times higher fee than the convent. At the very least I hope that they also provide opportunity to poor hindus who cannot afford that fee but are meritorious. But then again, Merit nowadays has no meaning other than in Private Enterprises.

      We can slog all day and week and still differ. Lets end this and move on. All I asked to paraphrase my whole point of view is if Evangelists can do it, why not our Mutts. Definitely not because they are short of funds.

      PS: Virgin Birth is non sense. On the other hand our Epics stand a much better chance of being proved right. But for that there is a need for organisations that can put efforts on researching those things. Hopefully we can see such a day.

  13. rc said, on January 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    >> Reservation has become a hot potato and the way I see, I feel that like it or not it will stay. No Political party has spoken out against reservation. Infact everyone is trying to see where the next area where reservation can be accomplished to please the electorate they are targeting.


    THe establishment does not fear anti-reservationists but is absolutely TERRIFIED of reservation with data as a precondition. Two reasons why :

    1. It will snatch the magic wand from their hands and place the quota system under a feedback mechanism. Just public data about utilization of the quota will suffice as popular feedback will do the rest.

    2. There will be little to no opposition to data even among their own constituents. I have met several Indians from all religions. Barring the hardcore racists, everyone sees sense in subjecting the quota system to a regime of scrutiny.

    This is the ONE thing that will make people vote on larger issues.

    So bottomline is – special benefits at the expense of equality, be it Christian or Hindu or Muslim must be subject to public audit.

  14. Barbarindian said, on January 14, 2010 at 3:28 am

    I fail to understand what the problem is.

    Who says there is a problem? Secular dudes trolling blogs pretending to be Hindus is nothing new.

  15. reason said, on January 14, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Barb’s comment got it pretty right. does not look like we will see the secular progressive dude back on this thread. the situation with them is way worse than wrestling with pigs.

    it is in the standard template for secular progressives. when something gets sticky, say bad things about Hindu/Brahmin/Mutt/ and wiggle away. about 99% people in a room will agree with this and forget the point – thats the mark of ‘progressive’ and who wants to be ‘regressive’?

    The rangadore memorial hospital / bangalore kidney foundation runs out of sringeri mutt’s land in bangalore. i have seen people in full black veil getting treated here. i mention sringeri because it was particularly named, not that i am claiming it is my ‘family mutt’. what is the point dude, you got a family mutt? the training is surely getting better.

    but that is not really the point of rc’s post until the secular progressive came in and tried to derail it.

  16. Ot said, on January 15, 2010 at 3:46 am

    There’s an advantage to people faking split internet personalities — an advantage that they don’t intend. When they speak believing that they masked their identity successfully, they leave us a glimpse into their real mindset, because they are most likely being true to themselves. It is when they write with their real identity that they put on a persona that is unfaithful to their true nature.

    • rc said, on January 15, 2010 at 5:07 am

      Well said and very true of the Indian context.

      A great example is the legal blog. You can never tell what they are really thinking. Is the Naz foundation case the landmark judgment of the decade ?

    • Incognito said, on January 18, 2010 at 2:27 am

      Ot there goes beyond the common and touches the core of bharatiya darshanas, which is that, when a person assumes an ‘identity’ (which he calls ‘real identity’), s/he puts on ‘a persona that is unfaithful to their true nature’.

      When s/he abandons that identity, there emerges glimpse of the real.

      This is the essence of bharatiya darshanas– discarding, transcending, of limited identities and realization, brahma jnana.

      Truth seekers arrive at the essence sooner or later. Sometimes, they may take some time to recognize where they have reached.

      This is also where ‘believers’ are at a disadvantage. Many, especially of the organized religions, are made to believe in identities- with regard to themselves, kin, the ‘unbelievers’, as well as ‘higher beings’ such as ‘poope/prophet/god’ and are thus handicapped in transcending these identities.


  17. elvis said, on January 29, 2010 at 12:31 am

    one significant aspect in Christianity is about education. Education is not only found in the church but in other institutions such as schools. Today many schools popping up labeled Christian. For that I am trying to write one expert opinion about the phenomenon of Christian schools today. I really hope you are as an expert on Christianity or education may provide comments on this article. If you have time, please visit: # more

    God Bless Us

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