Evangelical Aggression In Educational Institutions In Tamil Nadu: Latest Incident And A Historic Context
If only we had taken the message, mission and methodology of Swami Mathuranantha and Iyya Thanulinga Nadar to each and every district of Tamil Nadu, we could have perhaps prevented tragedies like Omallur Sukanya and Lavanya.
A class six (age 11) student from a village in Kanyakumari district has complained that her handcrafts (tailoring) teacher has been constantly abusing Hindu deities and practicing evangelism in the classroom.
In a video that has gone viral, the student and her parents are seen filing a complaint in a police station with the girl answering some questions.
According to the student, the teacher, Beatrice Thangam, told the students that one should read Bible. The Hindu students told that they being Hindus read the Bhagavad Gita and not Bible. The teacher told the students that Gita was bad and Bible contained a lot of good things.
She also said that the teacher used to tell stories in which Hindus were depicted as Satan. The student further stated that the students were asked to kneel and pray. Further, when the students were given tailoring work, often it used to be stitching a symbol of cross.
The police complaint by vigilant parents and Hindu activists in the village has resulted in the suspension of the teacher.
The eleven-year-old girl came forward along with the parents to the police station and answered all questions spontaneously. In fact, at one point, she could be heard telling the officer that he did not conduct his query properly.
One needs to point out here two important personalities who brought out this change in the Hindu children of this district.
One was Iyya Thanulinga Nadar. He fought against education-based Evangelist crusade against Hindu dharma in Kanyakumari. In 1987, when Bible distribution was conducted in a government school in a remote village, Thanulinga Nadar took up a fast unto death agitation. It ultimately made even the MGR government bow down before the Gandhian freedom fighter and Hindu Munnani leader.
Iyya Thanulinga Nadar suggested a six-point scheme for Hindu parents to fight these kinds of evangelical intrusions in government schools:
1. Create a local body of Hindus to study the problem and fight for justice.
2. Get the parents of the students involved.
3. Through the parents, petition the district collector, district education officer and chief education officer. The petitions should be sent by registered post.
4. Simultaneously, through posters, make the local people at large become aware of the problem.
5. Then arrange for a demonstration in front of the office of DEO.
6. If after all these, action is not taken, start fasting unto death and plan chain satyagraha agitations.
Above all, bring about awareness among Hindus.
Next, one should look at the way the girl, in a determined way, stood and spoke for dharma.
This is because of the Samaya Vahuppu phenomenon, for which Swami Mathurananda Maharishi (1922-1999) was responsible through the establishment of the Hindu Dharma Vidya Peeth.
That makes one wonder: if only we had taken the message, mission and methodology of Swami Mathuranantha and Iyya Thanulinga Nadar to each and every district of Tamil Nadu, we could have perhaps prevented tragedies like Omallur Sukanya and Lavanya.
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