The untimely death of M Lavanya, the 12th standard student of Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School in Tamil Nadu has sent the nation in a shock. Many people have taken to social media to demand justice for the young girl Lavanya who ingested pesticides after being tortured and pressurised to convert to Christianity by the missionary school. In fact, after the shocking incident came to the fore, several Hindu organisations and individuals have been outraging over the methods adopted by missionary schools operating in Tamil Nadu and vociferously demanding action against the perpetrators.
With the outrage over Lavanya’s death spreading, hundreds of people have taken to the streets to protest the Tamil Nadu police’s harsh treatment of the person who recorded Lavanya’s dying declaration and their failure to act against the missionary school.
M Lavanya’s untimely demise is a wake-up call. It reminds people of the evangelists’ imperialistic goals. Indeed, it reminds people of how an elaborate plan has been used to uproot the Sanatan society through time. In fact, many more M Lavanyas have been compelled to take such drastic measures as a result of such coercive and persuasive tactics.
Below we have chronicled 19 such incidents in which Christian missionaries have toyed with Hindu childrens’ emotions and tormented, brainwashed or forced them to convert or exploited them in some other way, while media, on its part, maintained a stoic silence.
Tamil Nadu’s M Lavanya
On the 19th of January 2022, Lavanya, a 12th standard girl breathed her last. Student of Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Lavanya had ingested pesticides after being tortured and pressurised to convert to Christianity by the school.
Her dying declaration, originally in Tamil said, “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 also named one Rachael Mary who had allegedly tortured her.
Lavanya had been living at the St. Michael’s Girls Hostel near her school for the past five years, and the govt-aided Christian missionary school had been pressuring her to convert to Christianity. However, Lavanya was adamant about not leaving her religion and refused to get converted. Angered by Lavanya’s resistance, the school administration cancelled her leave application for Pongal Celebrations. Lavanya who was supposed to visit home during her holidays was forced to do chores like cleaning toilets of the school, cooking and washing dishes. It is reported that dejected Lavanya consumed pesticides used in the school garden to end her life.
Christian school principal sexually harasses students
On December 30, Christopher Jebakumar (51), the principal of a Government-aided school run by the Church of South India (CSI) – Tirunelveli was arrested for sexually harassing girl students. He allegedly obtained their phone numbers under the guise of organising special classes during the holidays and then sent them lewd messages.
The student’s parents filed a complaint with the school administration. However, the administration took no action against him. In fact, in an attempt to silence the parents of the affected children, he even tried to bargain with them, promising them lakhs of rupees.
Finally, the action against him was taken based on a complaint filed by one of the students.
Eight students in Madhya Pradesh converted by sprinkling water
Hindu organisations were outraged last month when eight children from Saint Joseph school, a missionary school in Madhya Pradesh’s Ganjbasoda area in Vidisha district were forcefully converted to Christianity. The Ahirwar Samaj Sangh had lodged a complaint with the Vidisha District Magistrate at the time. A video went viral showing children being converted by sprinkling water on them during a prayer meeting. The Hindu organisation claimed that the school was being used as a front to run a conversion racket.
NCPCR uncovers conversion racket in Christian missionary-run girls’ hostel in Madhya Pradesh
On November 9, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) uncovered an alleged conversion racket going on in the Christian Missionary Girls’ Hostel in Raisen, Madhya Pradesh. The hostel is located in Intkhedi village, Sultanpur, District Raisen, Madhya Pradesh. Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had gone to inspect the hostel, where he found that the tribal Hindu girls were brought to the hostel and were being taught Christian religious books to convert them to Christianity.
The commission chairman also checked the registers kept in the hostel. He found that there were 15-20 Hindu Tribal girls in the hostel premises. Some of them were from North-East. They were being taught books related to Christianity. Kanoongo also found Bible that was handed over to District Magistrate after inspection.
Kanoongo shared the information about the inspection and what he had found on Twitter and said, “Surprise inspection of the hostel of Christian Missionaries. They were running a conversion racket”.
Missionary school denies Hindu boy entry into classroom for donning Lord Ayyappa mala
On December 3 2021, a controversy arose after a private missionary school refused to allow its student to enter the institution as he was donning Lord Ayyappa mala, at Sadasivapet town in the Sangareddy district of Telangana. A complaint has been lodged by legal rights organization LRPF against St. Mary’s School for punishing a Hindu student who observe Ayyappa Deeksha, the religious observance for 41 days by the devotees of Swamy Ayyappa before visiting the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The boy was a Class X student at Saint Mary’s PSM High School in Sadasivapet town.
According to local reports, the boy, who had taken up Lord Ayyappa Deeksha, was denied access to the classroom since he was wearing the customary black clothes and had put the mala. He was sent home by the principal. The school’s administration consented to let the student attend the classroom when residents and other devotees of Lord Ayyappa intervened.
Student not allowed to enter class for 16 days for observing Ayyappa Deeksha
Similarly, in 2019, a case was reported from Telangana wherein a fifth-grade student was refused entry by his school. The child was forbidden to sit in the class for 16 days as he had observed Ayyappa Deeksha.
Student beaten by Christian teacher for wearing Rudraksha and applying sandalwood on the forehead
In the month of October last year, a video went viral where a class 12 student of Nandanar boys high school of Chidambaram of Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu was brutally beaten by his school teacher. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to the district collector Cuddalore to conduct an inquiry into a violent incident. The 17-year-old boy had sustained grave injuries and was admitted to a government hospital. Sources had claimed that the class 12 student was beaten by the Christian school teacher only because the boy wore rudraksha and applied sandalwood on the forehead.
Mumbai missionary school accused of being involved in conversion racket
In April 2019, Christ Primary School in Virar East area of Mumbai was accused of being involved in forcibly converting its students to Christianity. Then, a banner has been placed outside the school premises warning parents of forced conversions at the school. Authorities running the school had, however, denied the allegations and filed a police complaint.
Sport teacher accused of sexual abuse
In May last year, the Tamil Nadu government and the SCPCR have issued a notice to a Christian school in Chennai in response to allegations of sexual harassment against their sports coach. The Ministry of School Education has issued a warning to St.George Anglo Indian School in Chennai after a 19-year-old national-level athlete complained of sexual harassment by sports coach P Nagarajan.
Two months later, seven more women athletes had made similar allegations of sexual abuse during training sessions against the same coach. These women athletes, some of them who were international-level sportswomen, had said that the abuse by Nagarajan was not a new one as it had been going on for years.
Christian preacher accused of sending inappropriate texts to minor girls
In October 2020, OpIndia reported how Christian evangelical organisation ‘Scripture Union’ (SU) employee Sam Jaisunder had been accused of sending inappropriate messages to underage girls in schools. In a series of tweets, Twitter user Joel Giftson alleged that Jaisunder would insist on video calls with the minor girls and even ask them to meet alone while expressing his desire to ‘cuddle’ them.
Accusing ‘Scripture Union’ of being the most paedophilic organisation, he stated that this inappropriate messaging by Jaisunder has been going on since at least 2016.
Missionary school adopting a systematic way of humiliating Hindu students- cuts off Rakhi from students wrist
In 2018, the Gujarat government has sought an explanation from a missionary school in Gandhinagar over the allegations of a teacher cutting off Rakhis from the students’ wrist.
As reported, few parents of students studying in Mount Carmel High School, complained to the education department, that a teacher cut off the Rakhis tied on to the wrists of students studying in Class V, a day after Rakshabandhan, which was celebrated on 26th August 2018.
Students made to run hands on stone, forced to stand in the sun for wearing mehndi
In another such incident, a Christian convent school in Bharuch, Gujarat had barred girl students from entering school, if they were found with henna (mehendi) on their hands. It is reported that the school principal made around 40 girls stand outside the classroom for four hours as a punishment for applying the henna on their hands. Later the school management apologised after a protest by parents.
In September 2015, some girl students of St Mary’s Convent School in Kanpur were forced to stand in the sun as punishment for wearing Rakhi and Mehendi. One girl was forced to rub her hands on a rock to remove the Mehendi and thus, her hand was injured.
Student expelled for having Shikha
In June 2016, another regressive anti-Hindu incident took place when St Vincent Pallotti School of Bengaluru had expelled an LKG student for having a Sikha or Tiki (ponytail).
Students suspended for celebrating Diwali
Similarly, in 2017 it was also reported how in Keezhapudur, a convent school had punishing some Hindu students for bursting crackers during Diwali and giving appreciation letters to those who did not.
Principal of Mount Carmel School preaches Christianity, rubbished Hindu Dharma
In 2016, a major controversy erupted when videos uploaded on Mount Carmel Schools, New Delhi’s YouTube channel showed its principal, Dr Vijay Kumar Williams delivering Christian sermons to the students, encouraging them to convert. He was also seen openly rubbishing well-established theories and Hindu Dharma in at least two such videos, sparking a major controversy.
School principal arrested for sexual abuse
On March 4, 2018, it was reported how the Chennai police had arrested one G Jayapal, the principal of Montfort School in Perugudi for sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl. The incident had come to the fore when the girl refused to go to school for nearly two months. After her parents questioned her about her prolonged absence from school, the child disclosed what had transpired.
450 Girls boycott Missionary school after principal beats up a student for failing to bring money
The headmaster of the Jeenabahar Mission Girls High School in Kunkuri, Chhattisgarh, which is sponsored by a Christian organisation, was accused of extorting money in the pretence of holding a prayer session and then brutally thrashing the girl students for refusing to do so. When 450 girls boycotted the school, the school’s conduct was exposed. After a tremendous amount of uproar, the cops had intervened.
It was reported how Nun Pushparani, the principal of Mission Girls High School in Ginabahar, had mercilessly beaten up a student until her ear began to bleed and she was unable to hear from one ear, all for failing to contribute Rs 200 to a prayer assembly planned by the school.
15-year-old student dies in Tripura after he is brutally tortured by hostel warden for opposing forceful conversion to Christianity
In 2019, another disturbing incident came to light where a helpless student had become a victim of the constant conversion attempts by missionaries. A Class IX student of Holy Cross School at Pabiachhara in Kumarghat, Tripura died at GBP hospital after being allegedly tortured repeatedly by the hostel warden. The deceased student has been identified as Happy Debbarma.
The officials had then revealed that the deceased Happy Debbarma had been opposing several conversion attempts of poor students by warden Halam. When the warden tried to convert Debbarma, he revolted leaving him angry. In the afternoon, Bulchung summoned Happy Debbarma in an isolated corner outside the hostel, which was not covered under the CC camera.
“Bulchung punched Happy severely on his chest accusing him of opposition in conversion. When Happy was fallen, Bulchung stood on him and thrashed him brutally. The torture on Happy was reportedly known to the in-charge of the school Father Lency D’Souza and when he saw Bulchung had gone violent, D’Souza along with two other accused rescued him. He was given primary treatment and warned him not to disclose it to others,” reports had stated.
Evangelists force minors to eat beef, read the bible
In December last year, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had issued a notice to the Superintendent Police (SP) of Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh, seeking its report on a complaint of feeding cow meat to children at St. Francis sewadham ashram.
As per reports, children had alleged that “they were forced to eat cow meat and read the Bible. The children alleged that they were told that they would be harassed by the ashram authorities if they refused to comply.