Sunday, July 14, 2024

Holy Family Convent School Embroiled in Raksha Bandhan Controversy

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Holy Family Convent School in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, is embroiled in a Raksha Bandhan-related controversy. Allegedly, Hindu students were prevented from celebrating Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu tradition that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. The private institute faced outrage and protests from parents for cutting the Rakhis and Kalavas tied to the students’ wrists.

Christian Intolerance of Rakhi Celebration

The students arrived at the Holy Family Convent School wearing Rakhis on their wrists. Some students marked the festival by tying Rakhi to each other in the school as well. The Rakhis marked their adherence to the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan. Reports state that a teacher confronted some students for wearing Rakhi. Thereafter, the teacher forcefully removed the Rakhis and Kalavas from their hands by cutting them. Allegedly, the teacher expressed intolerance of Hindu practices on the school premises. Moreover, reports also quote the teacher saying, “Hinduism shall not be preached here.”

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The incident quickly escalated, prompting parents and members of Hindu organizations to protest outside the school premises. The local law enforcement came forward to de-escalate the tensions.

Consequently, the school management issued a written apology to the Hindu parents, acknowledging the mistake. Moreover, they reassured no repetition of such incidents shall occur within the school.

The ‘Intolerance’ Trend of Minority

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The social media accounts repeatedly highlight incidents of mistakes made by Hindus. However, all accounts of intolerance to Hindu celebrations are always downplayed. Objections to applying Tilak, chanting Vande Mataram, wearing Kalava, and observing traditional customs like Rakhi are repeatedly observed by Christian- and Muslim-governed institutes. Such incidents underline the true intolerance of the minorities towards Hindu identity and customs.

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The incident at Holy Family Convent School underscores the penalization of students for participating in Hindu cultural and religious practices. Consequently, instances of harassment and discrimination faced by Hindu students should be given due importance in the landscape of diversity painted by ‘Liberals’ and ‘Sickularists.’

The onus of acceptance of traditions and religious customs should not solely be placed on the Hindu community. The victim card that the minority communities play at the drop of the hat protects them from repercussions for their intolerant views of Hindu ideology. Thus, tolerance for the cultural and religious practices of all religions within educational institutions governed by a religious minority should be made mandatory.

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As part of India’s secular and pluralistic identity, minority communities should appreciate the great reserves of forbearance Hindus display to their religious customs. Moreover, in return, they should uphold the principles of inclusion and acceptance of Hindu traditions in their zones of influence as well. Most importantly, displays of intolerance should never be part of a student’s exposure in an institute to which the parents trust the education of their child. Therefore, denial of the mindset of intolerance in the minority communities towards the Hindu majority in India is not the correct response to cries of ‘secularism’. True secularism begins when one-true-god religions are able to accept the polytheism of the Hindu religion. Thus, in the conundrum of modern India, Hindus demand religious tolerance from ‘peaceful’ minority communities.

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