The article ‘Is Beating Students in  Indian Schools Legal?’ is a critical analysis of corporal punishment and deals in a descriptive manner as to the ways taken by the apex court and the legislative provisions in declaring the beating of children an offence. The article entails the harsh punishments given by the parents and teachers leave a negative… Read More »

The article ‘Is Beating Students in Indian Schools Legal?’ is a critical analysis of corporal punishment and deals in a descriptive manner as to the ways taken by the apex court and the legislative provisions in declaring the beating of children an offence. The article entails the harsh punishments given by the parents and teachers leave a negative mark on the mind of the children.

Is Beating Students in Indian Schools Legal?

The author tries to explain the role of parents and teachers is very important in life and truly gives correct direction to the children/students in order to become good human beings besides academic achievements. So, the role has to be played with caution because such harsh punishments can only make them aggressive. There has been discussion on the multi-dimensional negative effects of beating. It is the outcry of the author to let the child progress at his/her own speed and calibre because it’s high time to realize the god-gifted uniqueness in each child.

Meaning of beating

Beating is a very common term that needs no explanation as such but very few people know that it is a kind of corporal punishment. So what is corporal punishment then? The very basic explanation of corporal punishment is hitting a person as a form of punishment. Acts like slapping, hitting, spanking, pinching, pulling, and hitting with objects likely to cause hurt like a belt or whip come under the ambit of corporal punishment. Section 2 (24) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 defines corporal punishment as

“corporal punishment” means the subjecting of a child by any person to physical punishment that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming the child.[1]

This term may be new to the Indian parents and teachers, but the idea is very well known to them and practiced very often by their children. Parents believe that hitting is an essential part of disciplining a child and is the best practice to punish the child for his/her wrongdoings as it will make them learn quickly. Parents and teachers personify their kids as flowers, sunshine, my moon, piece of our hearts, pieces of gold, an avatar of the god himself, and many more.

On the other hand, they believe in thrashing the flower-like child and asking him to bloom. Calling the kid an incarnation of the god in the morning and breaking sticks over his back in the evening is no big deal for Indian parents. However, not all parents lie in the above category but a majority of them believe in corporal punishment as the best way to nurture their child.

Moreover, the child is forced to think or we can say that the psychology of the child is moulded in such a way to make him/her believe that it is an essential part of the growing years and that it is a gesture of love and concern of the parents. This dubbing of parents’ frustration and anger as love and care makes the child eliminate all the notions that his/her rights are being infringed or they are being brought up in the wrong way.

History

If we find hitting and spanking a brutal punishment then we are yet to know about a shocking practice of Kodandam which was practiced long ago. Kodandam is a Tamil word that means hanging errant boys upside down and thrashing. This was a corporal punishment which indeed was brutal; however, there was another level to it.

Sometimes, the boys were hung upside down and dried red chillies were burnt below them so that the boys bear both the beating and the intolerable smell of the burning chillies. Killu (Tamil) was one such practice of pinching harshly. Using iron rods for beating, twisting the ear lobes, or beating on the back with the elbows were some of the extreme punishments that find their trace back in history.[2]

Are Corporal Punishment/ beating of students in Indian schools banned?

In the year 2000, corporal punishment was declared unlawful by the Supreme Court of India. In 2010, the Supreme Court banned corporal punishment through the Right To Education Act.

As per the Right to Education Act, 2009, corporal punishment could be classified as physical punishment, mental harassment, and discrimination.

  • Physical Punishment includes the very famous ‘murga punishment’ i.e. holding their ears with hands passed under the legs, standing in the classroom with hands up, standing for long hours holding their ears, making the child stand as a wall chair, keeping school bags on their heads, making the child stand in the sun, squeezing their fist with a pencil in between the fingers, etc.
  • Emotional Punishment includes scolding, humiliating, removing shirts of the boys, calling them by names, rustication, teachers taking the student from class to class to repeat in from of the classes about the mistake of the child, etc.
  • Negative Reinforcement includes locking them in abandoned places, making the students run on the ground or around the campus, detention during lunch breaks, making them stand for long hours, making them pay fines, making them sit on the floor, etc.

Effective Laws in India

1. Right to Education Act, 2009,

As mentioned earlier, RTE differentiates corporal punishment into three parts namely, physical punishment, emotional punishment, and negative reinforcement. Section 17 of the Act forbids any kind of punishment and mental badgering of children. It is given under this section that whoever repudiates the previously mentioned arrangement will be in danger of disciplinary activities under the assistance rules relevant to such individual.

Segments 8 and 9 of The Right to Education Act put a commitment on the Government and furthermore the office to “guarantee that the kid having a place with the more vulnerable area and furthermore the youngster having a place with the impeded gathering aren’t oppressed and kept from seeking after and finishing rudimentary instruction on any grounds.[3]

2. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

According to the Act, the youngster is any person under 18 years old. The Act defines corporal punishment as subjecting a toddler by a person to physical punishment that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as a penalty for an offence or to discipline or reform the child. Here, Committee means Child Welfare Committee and Board means a Juvenile Justice Board.

Section 82 deals with the provision of corporal punishment. And it states that any person in charge of or employed in a childcare institution, who subjects a child to corporal punishment to discipline the child, shall be liable, on the primary conviction, to a fine of ten thousand rupees and for each subsequent offence, shall be responsible for imprisonment which can be three months or fine or with both. If an individual is convicted of corporal punishment, then he shall even be responsible for dismissal from the service. Also, the law will debar him from working directly with children.

In case the management of the institution where the corporal punishment is reported doesn’t cooperate with any inquiry or suits the orders of the Committee or Board or Court or government, the person accountable for the management of the institution shall be responsible for punishment with imprisonment for a term not less than three years and shall even be liable to fine which can reach one lakh rupees.

3. Constitutional Provisions

Our constitution has additionally defended the freedoms of the youngsters. Article 21 and Article 21A of the Constitution of India which safeguards the right to life and respect incorporate the right to schooling for youngsters till they are 14. Corporal punishment obstructs a youngster’s mindset on the whole concept of training in light of the fact that the feeling of fear towards beating makes kids bound to keep away from the everyday schedule and drop out by and large.

4. Relevant Sections of Indian Penal Code, 1850

Giving corporal punishment to children in school or at home may invite the following sections under the IPC.

  • Section 305: Abetment of suicide committed by a child;
  • Section 323: Voluntarily causing hurt;
  • Section 325:Voluntarily causing grievous hurt;
  • Section 326:Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means;
  • Section 352:Assault or use of criminal force otherwise than a grave provocation;
  • Section 354:Outraging the modesty of a woman;
  • Section 506:Criminal intimidation;
  • Section 509:Word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman;

Why exercise beating? And what do parents want?

While some people might give an explanation that it is an essential part of keeping the child in discipline, this is not always the reason behind beatings and thrashings. Reasons like anger, frustration, anxiety and hatred towards a kid or personal enmity are the ones giving rise to such violent acts by parents as well as teachers and guardians.

As it is evident that not all parents want corporal punishment to be practiced upon their child, there are a few parents who especially ask the teachers to not think twice before harshly punishing the child to keep him/her in discipline, and probably that is the reason that it is still being practiced in many parts of the country even after it is banned.

How does it affect the psyche of the child?

Corporal punishment doesn’t only leave marks and hurts on the body but also on the tender minds which could develop better in the absence of such punishment. Such punishments have a long-term impact on the child’s mind and can be the immediate cause of anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, violent behaviour, depression, and even suicide.

The worst is with those who are made to believe that such brutality is normal or an essential part of a child’s growth years, as one who has been subject to such punishment is more likely to inflict the same on the other person or the next generation and being stuck in this cycle of an age-old mentality. They tend to become a bully, dominating the ones inferior to them and are more likely to consider acts of violence as fair.[4]

Conclusion

After covering the important issues, we can come to the conclusion that beating of students in schools is banned in India. It is a criminal act punishable under the rule of law and is completely unlawful and unconstitutional to do so. The child is the father of man and what we give them today is what they will give to the society hence it becomes very important to make sure what we are inculcating in them, is a weed of fear, aggression, and violence or a plant of love, kindness, and communication.

No religion or law encourages corporal punishment to the kids for disciplining and so, the parents and the teachers both are responsible to make sure that such practices are not carried out with the child.

It’s my suggestion for all parents to accept their child as he or she is. It’s just you have to understand that all the flowers have got their ‘own beauty in terms of features’. I would like to quote the words of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

“While children are struggling to be unique, the world around them is trying all means to make them look like everybody else”.


References

[1] Laws Related to Corporal Punishment in India, Available Here

[2] Is Corporal Punishment Legal in India, Available Here

[3] Maadabhushi Sridhar, Corporal punishment: Violation of Child Rights in Schools, Available Here

[4] Dr. kajal Jethanand Sadhwani, Teachers need to adopt Motherly Attitude Towards Children at School,
Available Here


Updated On 2022-04-16T07:39:21+05:30
Aayushi Tiwari

Aayushi Tiwari

A Law Student and a lifetime humanitarian from the historically rich state, Bihar. Avid reader, writes to bring a difference and a public speaker to enlighten others.

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