A Hindu youngster in a private school in Bhilwara City, Rajasthan, received unwarranted physical punishment and disciplinary action on July 14, 2023, for donning a tilak. A forceful protest was organised outside the school by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) after the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Vidyarthi Parishad received the news quickly. The passionate demonstration caused the school principal to apologise, which successfully put an end to the incident and helped things return to normal.

The event involved Kishan Mali, a student at the school, and happened at St. Anselm School in Bhilwara. Kishan conducted a puja at home and put a tilak on his forehead before going to school. However, it is said that because of his tilak, the student was physically punished by the school staff when he arrived at class. Kishan was disturbed by the incident and went home to tell his family about it. Kishan’s family members arrived at the school as soon as they learned what had happened, which coincided with the arrival of Hindu organisations that had also been alerted of the occurrence. The protesters’ united response caused a ruckus outside the school’s grounds as they voiced their displeasure.

Regarding the incident, Kishan Mali has made accusations, saying, “I arrived at school putting up a tilak on my forehead, along with others of my friends who had tilaks. We had never used tilak before because it had never been permitted at our school. Before, students were hesitant to use tilak. For the previous two or three days, I had been using tilak. The principal stopped me yesterday and asked me why I was wearing a tilak. Everyone in the class named me when the principal inquired who was forcing them to put tilak on their foreheads. After slapping me five or six times, the principal told me to wait outside his office after lunch. My father was called and instructed to come pick up my transfer certificate right away,” he continued. “My son did not commit such a serious crime,” my father claimed. He simply brought a tilak. I added that I would return to wearing a tilak on my forehead tomorrow. Even this morning, I wore a tilak when I arrived at school. The Father, the school’s principal, has since apologised for the outcry.

A representative of the ABVP, Shubham Sharma, stated, “The principle has expressed regret for the event. We have issued a warning that the school will be permanently shuttered if a similar situation occurs in the future.


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