The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Heartless teacher at the Christian sacred heart school

12/24/2005 3:33:10 PM HK Correspondent

The widespread harassment of poor scheduled caste students at Christian institutions in Kerala is an increasing phenomenon. Several tragic incidents of harassment, rape, discrimination, physical assault and horrifying suicides of Hindu students at Christian institutions are being reported routinely. Here is a tragic story of a seventeen year old beautiful, poor scheduled caste student, Neetu from the Sacred Heart School, Chalakkudi. Neethu committed suicide because of the increased harassment, insult, discrimination and humiliation against her by the Christian Teacher Ms. Rogy, who has an evangelical mandate to convert innocent Dalit students at the school. This is yet another proof of the atrocities committed on Dalit tribes by the powerful Christian lobby in Kerala.

Neetu was subjected to severe harassment, insult, discrimination and public ridicule by the Christian fanatic School Teacher Rogy. The misguided teacher with hatred for non Christian students used to verbally abuse and slap the young Neetu in front of the class. Several students have witnessed the naked harassment, verbal and physical attack and insulting remarks by the fanatic teacher Rogy. The Christian teacher Rogy had a hatred against the fair skinned Netu who belonged to the scheduled caste.

Neetu, as a teenage girl was reluctant to speak out or seek help, either because, as children, they are not conscious of being discriminated against or they fear reprisals from the Christian School management. Poor students are not able to spot, identify or oppose Christian teacher's subtle indoctrination, coercive discrimination, verbal assault to subjugate and capture their mind. The innocent, poor students suffer silently with their scarred mind. In Neetu's case, her mother Suma, begged with the evangelist teacher Rogy not to humiliate or harass her daughter. As usual, the Christian teacher ignored her plea and continued to create a hostile and psychologically damaging environment for Neetu. Neetu was pretty, intelligent and students in her class had a soft corner for the poor Neetu. But the teacher had different game plan for Neetu. Rogy wanted Neetu to covert to Christianity.

Unable to bear subtle indoctrination, severe discrimination and public insult, the good looking Neetu committed suicide. Now the Christian management is trying to cover up the issue and has come out in the open to save Rogy. The powerful Christian lobby was able to influence the local police. The police action or inaction has given raise to doubts among the local people. instead of filing a case against the teacher for forcing and abetting Neetu to commit suicide, the police have registered a case of unnatural death in order to save the skin of Rogy. The Kerala Pulayamahasabha has taken initiatives to protest the police inaction and discrimination against scheduled caste students at the Sacred Heart School.

Neetu's suicide is not an isolated incident. The widespread harassment, horrifying suicides, discrimination and efforts for coercive religious conversion, violent attacks including rape against Hindu students at Christian institutions have been reported from schools and colleges run by Christian management. There are more dramatic cases in the past. It was in 1985, Ms. Ramani Menon, a housewife at Thiruananthapuram committed suicide because of the harassment meted out to her daughter by the management and teachers of Carmel School, a Church run organization. It is sad to say that nothing happened in that case. In most of these cases the government is unable or unwilling to intervene or stop the attacks. So long as the Christian Church have the politicians in their disposal, why should they fear about the repercussions?

Aside from its obvious tragic and horrifying ingredients, what is the significance and meaning of harassment and discrimination against Hindu students at Christian institutions? Why is it almost never mentioned in the media? In Neetu's case the media feverishly tried to protect the teacher Rogy, the perpetrator of the crime. Neetu, the victim was ignored by the media. Is the media suffering from selective amnesia, compassion fatigue? The media prefers to ignore most of the discrimination and harassment cases to avoid irritating powerful Christian groups. This is a deliberate policy of the media and the government controlled by the Church.

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