In India we are witnessing an unprecedented problem these days, we are mired with the evil of communal activities like forceful conversion, jihad, and Hinduphobia. This environment has been fuelled further by our highly biased media, which always tones down such incidents, and most of the time they even target the victims and tone down such evil practices in the name of Secularism.
In a recent such case, a 17-year-old girl M Lavanya, who was studying at Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School in Thirukattupalli (Tamilnadu) has committed suicide by drinking poison after she was allegedly tortured to convert to Christianity by the school for her to continue her studies.
She hails from Vadugapalayam village in the Ariyalur district. Her mother had died eight years ago and has been living at the St. Michael’s Girls Hostel near her school for the past five years.
The school had allegedly forced Lavanya to convert to Christianity if she wanted to continue further studies, but she refused. The school staff had forced her to clean toilets, wash dishes, and do several other chores.
Lavanya was unable to bear the humiliation and she attempted suicide by consuming pesticides. She started continuously vomiting from the night of January 9. Upon observing her deteriorating condition, the hostel warden took her to a nearby clinic for treatment. Her father was called and asked to take her home, as her situation was not improving.
She was later admitted to the ICU in Tanjore Government Medical college hospital on January 15. Upon further tests, it was found that her kidney was failed and her lungs were severely affected.
She had disclosed that she consumed poison to the doctor only on January 18. However, the girl died shortly later. A tweet shows the child’s last few words, where she describes the tortures she was put through in the school.
“My name is Lavanya. They (school) had asked my parents in my presence if they can convert me to Christianity and help her for further studies. Since I didn’t accept, they kept scolding me.”, she says in the video. She also names one Rachael Mary who had allegedly tortured her.
On January 17, Lavanya’s relatives started protesting in front of the Thirukattupalli police station and asked police to take stern action against the school authorities.
However, the renowned media newspaper Times of India has completely ignored the religious conversion angle. It has not even mentioned the name of the school calling it a ‘government-aided higher secondary school in Michaelpatti village near Thirukattupalli in Thanjavur district’.
The headline given to the reportage has also been framed in a way that comes across as placing the responsibility of the unfortunate incident on the victim.
Despite the girl mentioning that she was forced to convert to Christianity in her dying declaration video, the Times of India has completely brushed off matter under the carpet.
Hindu Organizations come in support of Lavanya’s family
Several Hindu organizations such as The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Hindu Munnani had come in support of the child. VHP State Spokesperson Arumuga Kani said “The Vishwa Hindu Parishad will not rest until justice is given to the student Lavanya. As a first step, VHP is to hold a hunger strike today (19th January) under the leadership of Thanjavur district secretary Muthuvel. We need to ensure that such incidents don’t happen again. Until then, we will protest.”
This is not the first incident of a crime that has happened in a Christian school. In the last week of December, a case was registered against the headmaster of a school run by Church of South India (CSI) – Tirunelveli for sexually harassing girl students.