West Bengal education minister sparks controversy, says ‘Lesbianism’ against Bengali ethos

By: | Updated: March 15, 2018 11:24 AM

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chaterjee on Wednesday said that lesbianism (or homosexuality of any kind) would not be tolerated in schools in the state. He said that homosexuality is against Bengali culture and society.

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chaterjee calls lesbianism against Bengali ethos (Source: IE)West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chaterjee calls lesbianism against Bengali ethos (Source: IE)

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chaterjee on Wednesday said that lesbianism (or homosexuality of any kind) would not be tolerated in schools in the state, days after a school in Kolkata allegedly forced a bunch of class IX students to sign “confessional statements” that they indulged in “lesbian” acts within the school’s premises. Supporting the school’s alleged forceful extraction of confessions, he said that homosexuality is against Bengali culture and society.

The state administration, as per reports, has asked the school management to explain why it obtained a written admission from the students. “We are not treating the issue lightly,” Chatterjee said, according to PTI. He further said that ‘personally, he won’t ‘inculcate the idea of lesbianism’ in schools.

For those unaware of the incident – on March 8, the all-girls’ Kamala Girls’ High School in south Kolkata school made 10 students forcibly write a letter that they were lesbians. On March 12, their parents and guardians protested outside the school and argued with the management. The school’s acting headmistress told IANS on March 12, “Some students had complained against 10 students of indulging in such behaviour. We called those students and they admitted it.”

The headmistress’ claim contradicted the version of the guardians who alleged that the school arm-twisted the girls into signing the letter. Reacting to the allegation, on March 13, the school’s acting head told The Indian Express that the matter has been resolved and it was only “some miscommunication with the parents”.

Notably, the Supreme Court, on January 8 2018, agreed to reconsider its 2013 decision which criminalised gay sexual relations and said it will review Section 377 of Indian Penal Code that makes such relations a crime.

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