“It is dangerous when students see their schools with caste names. It instils casteism in children, and normalises caste practices,” he said.

Remove caste names from schools Dalit leader Ravikumar launches campaign
news Casteism Wednesday, October 04, 2017 - 18:43

VCK General Secretary Ravikumar has launched a campaign on social media urging the state government to change the names of schools bearing caste names.

Taking to Twitter and Facebook, Ravikumar asked people to take pictures of schools bearing caste names and upload it on social media. He also asked them to send these pictures to the Tamil Nadu government with the plea “No caste names for schools.”  

Speaking to TNM, Ravikumar, who has started it in his individual capacity, pointed out that the Tamil Nadu government is running schools in the name of Adi Dravidar Welfare, Backward Class Welfare and denotified communities. Calling it a dangerous trend, Ravikumar said, “No other state government is doing this. It is dangerous when students see their schools with caste names. It instils casteism in children, and normalises caste practices.”

He also observed that the practice of using caste names is not limited to government schools and that private institutions also carried caste names such as chettiar and gounder. “In southern districts, we have seen media reports of students tying bands on their hands and wearing different T-shirts. There have been caste clashes that have taken place between students. Even teachers discriminate on caste lines,” Ravikumar noted.

Urging the TN government to replace the caste names of these schools, the VCK leader pointed out that AIADMK founder and former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran had in 1979 ordered the caste suffixes in street names be removed.

Incidentally, in August 2016, a PIL was filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the state government to remove caste suffixes and prefixes in the names of government and government-aided educational institutions. However, the HC had closed the PIL, directing the petitioner to petition the relevant department of the state government.  

 

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