Teacher suspended in Tamil Nadu after student alleges conversion bid

Updated on Apr 14, 2022 06:20 AM IST

Parents of the student and local pro-Hindu activists took up the conversion issue with the school’s headmaster on Tuesday, Tamil Nadu officials said

A government school teacher has been suspended in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district after a Class 6 student alleged attempts of religious conversion by the teacher in a higher secondary school, officials said. (Reuters)
A government school teacher has been suspended in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district after a Class 6 student alleged attempts of religious conversion by the teacher in a higher secondary school, officials said. (Reuters)
By, Chennai

A government school teacher has been suspended in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district after a Class 6 student alleged attempts of religious conversion by the teacher in a higher secondary school, officials said.

In a video that went viral, the student accused the teacher of glorifying Christianity.

Parents of the child and local pro-Hindu activists took up the issue with the school’s headmaster on Tuesday, officials said. The information went to police who in turn informed the district collector. On Wednesday, officials of the school education department went to the spot to conduct a probe.

“Based on the instructions of the collector, the teacher who taught tailoring has been suspended after preliminary enquiries. We have to speak to the other children because this child has complained that attempts of conversion happened in front of everyone,” an education department official said.

Another official involved in enquiries said there has been no attempt at religious conversion. “Our enquiries revealed that the teacher has engaged in activities telling them stories that reading the Bible will save them. The parents were aggrieved over the incidents but they have not complained of religious conversion,” the education official said.

In a 1.5-minute video which has been circulating, a man (off-camera) can be seen asking a girl in school uniform what her teacher told her. “She asked us to read the Bible. We said we are Hindus and that we read the Bhagawad Gita. And she said that Bhagawad Gita is bad. The Bible has good messages,” the Class 6 student says.

HT could not verify the authenticity of the clip.

When the man asks her for how long the teacher has been speaking in this manner, the student responds that the teacher wasn’t like this except “today”. She also adds that the teacher behaved this way only with Hindu students. The man asks her if the suspended teacher only taught them how to pray during class.

“Yes, after eating, she will make everyone in class fold our hands, bend our knees and pray,” the student says. The man responds “Super. Okay,” and ends the video. There are more than 250 students in the school. Investigations are going on after which the school education department will file a detailed report.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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