St. Augustine Girls High School (SAGHS) allegedly humiliated a Hindu student for wearing rakhi. Pundit Satyanand brought the issue to light on October 9th even as the Ministry of Education denied all the charges.
Calling the incident religious intolerance against Hindus at SAGHS, Pundit Satyanand claimed that a Hindu student was pulled up by a senior student and was publicly shamed for Practicing Hinduism.
The Hindu student on the stage in front of the entire school was told by the official that she could not wear the rakhi as the SAGHS was a Christian School and the Hindus should hide any religious symbols, the Hindu leader told.
Hindu girl student was also mocked for her beliefs and it was told in the assembly that even Hindus don’t know ‘what they believe as sometimes the rakhi is worn on the right hand as well as the left hand.’
Rakhi is mostly tied to boys and men and yet, in some cultural practices, rakhi is often tied to girls and women as well.
Taking strong stance Pundit Sayanand said that ‘this is Trinidad and Tobago in 2018 and not 1918 when the Presbyterian Board was busying itself in forcibly converting Hindus in exchange for teaching jobs and for access to education.’
He also reminded the officials that everyone must support the Hindu girl just like they stood by a Muslim teacher named Nakhid who was denied a teaching job into the Lakshmi Girls Hindu College for wearing Hijab. He implored people that ‘all of those who condemned the Maha Sabha Secretary General when Nafiesa Nakhid was denied the opportunity to take up duties as an On The Job (OJT) teacher at Lakshmi Girls Hindu College because she wore a hijab.’
Pundit Satyanand also said that while the Hindu student had to bear the scorn at the Christian school, the Muslim girls are allowed to wear long pants and hijab while the Hindu child was pulled up for wearing a temporary thread!
He asked, “if Muslims are allowed to practice expressions of their faith by SAGHS then why is the school biased against Hindus?”
Calling it naked bigotry he even said that this was just plain religious bigotry against the Hindu community.
As per the 1990 official census, Hindu community accounts for 24 percent of the total population of Trinidad and Tobago.
Several cases of discrimination have come to light from Trinidad and Tobago and in one recent infamous case, even the Prime Minister had to apologize for insults to the Hindu community after furor refused to die down.