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TN govt revokes ban on colour-coded caste bands for students in schools


Chennai, Aug 16: Under pressure from the Opposition, the Tamil Nadu government has revoked its earlier circular banning casteist practices of making students wear wristbands to identify them by their castes will not be implemented.

The usage of caste bands has been in practice for the last several years, especially in the northern districts of the State.

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Directorate of School Education had issued a circular on July 31 directing senior officials from various districts to identify schools where students were being made to wear wrist bands to segregate them on the basis of caste.

The wristbands, which come in shades of red, yellow, green and saffron indicate whether the student belongs to the "lower class" or "upper class".

"...in some schools in TN, students were made to wear colour-coded wrist bands. These which come in shares of red, yellow, green and saffron indicate whether they belong to a "lower" or "upper" caste," a circular issued by Director of School Education S Kannappan said.

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The officer said, rings and 'Tilak' on forehead were also used as caste marker, adding such practices were supposedly being used for sports team selection, reassembling during class and lunch intervals

"Allegedly, these practices are enforced by students themselves and supported by influential caste persons and teachers," the circular read

Urging the senior officers to take appropriate steps to identify such schools, the circular said, "...issue suitable instructions to headmasters to prevent such practice immediately and also take severe action on persons responsible for the discrimination."

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