UP: Dalit School Teacher Alleges Discrimination by Principal & Upper-caste Teachers
Representational use only.Image Courtesy: Huffpost.Com
Lucknow: In yet another case of caste discrimination and institutional casteism, a dalit teacher who teaches Sanskrit at a government inter-college in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district was allegedly discriminated against by the school principal and teachers.
Abhay Kumar Kori of City Inter College has alleged that kshatriya caste teachers in the school have formed a separate group and regularly hurled casteist remarks at him. The teacher has complained to the district authorities.
"Being born into a dalit family, particularly in India's heartland, is a curse, it seems. Is it the birthright of upper castes to teach Sanskrit? Why can a dalit not teach? My co-staff and principal have mentally harassed me for carrying braid and teaching Sanskrit," Kori told NewsClick.
Kori, who holds an Acharya degree and was posted at a government inter-college in Auraiya earlier, was transferred to his home town in Barabanki in 2018.
"Ever since I joined City Inter College, I have faced caste-based discrimination. As a graduate of Sanskrit, I usually wear a yellow kurta, a slightly torn saffron dhoti and carry a braid. These people (principal and colleagues) opposed my clothes and braid. I was told to sit on the ground, not on a chair. They said, "Despite being from a lower caste, you are trying to be our equal. Don't try this"."
Kori has alleged that recently, the teachers cut his braid and hit him. He claimed he complained to police about the incident, but no action was taken.
"Five teachers, mostly from the kshatriya community, snatched books from my hand and beat me in front of students. After the incident, I didn't go to school for many days, but their behaviour towards me remained the same when I visited school later. I registered a complaint to the district authorities when the situation went from bad to worse," he added.
However, SC Gautam, the school's principal, has refuted the allegations and claims made by the teacher.
"Abhay Kumar Kori was suspended by the school's management for mistreating girl students and beating them up. His character is not good. Though he has been reinstated, the investigation is still pending against him. This is why he has been asked to sign in a separate register, and he is kept away from education work," the principal told NewsClick.
Meanwhile, Kori said that allegations made by the principal were baseless and fabricated.
"A false case of assault against me was registered in 2021 by the school management. I was suspended for months, but all charges were cleared, and the District Inspector of Schools reinstated me after complete investigation."
When NewsClick approached District Inspector of Schools OP Tripathi to know the ground reality, he said, "Abhay Kumar Kori, a teacher of City Inter College, has made several serious allegations against the teachers of the school. A report from the school administration has been sought regarding the issue, and necessary action will be taken."
Commenting on the growing incident against dalits in the state, Jairram Pandey, a professor at DDU University, Gorakhpur, said, "This is not an isolated case of caste discrimination in Uttar Pradesh. Every day such incidents are reported. The problem behind such incidents is the mindset. People from upper caste communities don't consider them human, and when they equally participate in academics and bureaucracy, they feel an inferiority complex."
Recently, a dalit Associate professor at Lucknow University (LU) was assaulted by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on the campus over an alleged "offensive comment" on the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi Masjid issue.
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