A viral video on social media shows a school teacher in India subjecting a seven-year-old Muslim child to degrading treatment inside a classroom, sparking massive outrage over the treatment of the Muslim minority.
The teacher was seen in the video, which surfaced on Friday, telling Hindu schoolchildren to slap the Muslim boy at a private school in Uttar Pradesh where Muslims constitute approximately a fifth of the 235 million population.
The Hindu teacher, named Tripta Tyagi, also asked for the boy to be evicted due to his Muslim religion.
In the video, she makes it clear that she beats all Muslim children. A man in the background could be heard laughing and appreciating her.
She made Islamophobic remarks and reprimanded other children for not hitting the Muslim boy hard.
“I have declared that all Muslim children should go,” Tyagi is heard saying in the video.
“You are correct, it ruins the education,” the male is heard saying as the victim stands in front of the class, wailing and terrified.
Anti-Muslim hate crimes in India have been on the rise for about a decade since the Bharatiya Janata Party (PJP) took power.
The right-wing Hindu nationalist has been blamed for stoking tensions between the majority of Hindus and Muslims in states that it rules.
The parents of the seven-year-old, Mohammad Altamash, said that the incident took place on Thursday in Neha Public School in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.
“Yesterday, my son came home crying,” Rubina, his mother, said. “He was traumatized. This is not how you treat kids.”
According to his father Mohammad Irshad, the teacher “asked them [classmates] to slap my son one by one,” Al Jazeera reported.
“The teacher justified her actions by saying my son did not memorize his lessons,” he said.
“My son is good at his studies. He takes tuitions. We fail to understand why the teacher treated him like this. It seems that the teacher is filled with hate,” the 42-year-old added.
Irshad said that the ill-treatment of his son was the result of “hate that is being spread against Muslims in the country,” pedaled by the BJP-led government.
Indian journalist Alishan Jafri wrote on X, formerly called Twitter, that the father of the victim told him that he has stopped sending his son to the school.
“He doesn’t want to take legal action against the teacher because he doesn’t believe that there’s any scope for justice,” Jafri wrote.
A police officer said a case will be filed after recording the statement of the child and the parents.
The police said they would ask the Education Department to take action against the teacher.
“We have taken cognizance of a viral video where a woman teacher is getting some school students to hit a classmate for not learning Mathematics tables. We have also spoken to the school principal about the objectionable comment in the video,” Superintendent of Police Satyanarayan Prajapat said in a video statement on X.
“The teacher said the mothers of Muslim children who do not pay attention to studies of their wards are responsible for their academic decline. We have informed the basic education officer and action will be taken against the teacher,” the police officer said in the statement.
Muslims across India are falling victim to government-sanctioned harassment and hate crimes by extremist Hindu elements as well as discriminatory regulatory policies.
Since its rise to power in 2014, the BJP has emboldened extremist groups that view India as a Hindu nation and consider its 200-million-strong Muslim minority as a foreign threat.
The BJP is aligned with right-wing politics, and its policies adhere to Hindutva, a Hindu nationalist ideology. It has close ideological and organizational links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is a right-wing Hindu nationalist, paramilitary, volunteer, and allegedly militant organization.
Hate crimes against Muslims have cast fear and despair among the Muslim community in India.