Coming down heavily on the anachronistic practice of wearing caste markers among school students, the Tamilnadu School Education has given an advisory to all Chief Educational Officers (CEOs) in the state to put to end to this discriminatory practice with an iron hand.
The colour- coded caste markers are worn as wrist bands by the school students in Tirunelveli and other southern districts, which often is used to discriminate the scheduled castes and to sustain the caste identity and caste supremacy even at the school level.
The threads worn by students come in many colours and shades of discrimination.
“ While it is red and yellow for Thevar students, blue and yellow for Nadars and saffron for Yadavs, who form the majority of OBC communities in Southern part of Tamilnadu”
“While the Dalit students are forced to wear green and red, Arundhatiyar students wear green, black and white” according to the students, who are forced by elders to practice caste discrimination.
The prevailing system is that the students belonging to one community are expected to stick to the colour coded identity lest they get taunted or even to taken to task by other students belonging to other caste groups, which foments enmity between students.
R. Swaminathan, Chief Educational officer, Tirunelveli clarifies that “ we have already issued the advisory to all schools to ban such wrist bands, as it has been proven time and again that it only helped foment caste enmity between students.
“Any colour which is used to associate with caste identity is also banned in schools in Tirunelveli; it doesn’t stop with wrist bands, as there are colour coded tilaks worn by caste groups and students hailing from these caste groups” he said.
“The recent order should help end caste discrimination at the school level as it amounts to poisoning the young minds with old- fashioned belief systems and sustenance of caste hierarchy in young school-going children” say, social activists.