Discriminatory attitudes

Abdul Manan April 17, 2010

LAHORE: Students belonging to minority sects complain of discrimination and lawlessness as they face new problems while seeking admission in private and public schools, learnt The Express Tribune.

Many students applying to college and school complained that there are no reserved seats fro minority and the administrations direct them to apply on open merit basis but are later, rejected owing to their ethnicity, maintained numerous sikh, hindu and Christian students. The issue mainly surfaced after a sikh student was sent home after being told to apply next year as the university does not have a reserved seat quota for the minorities.

Sardar Pawan, 19, applied to the institute of Business administration at PU but was turned down in spite of achieving good grades. “Later, I took up the matter with the Punjab University Vice chancellor who blatantly told me to apply next year saying, ‘We’ll consider reserving seats for minorties from 2011 onwards’,” the student disclosed, alleging him of the discriminatory remarks.

Another sikh student Sardar Haq Dilwar Singh told The Express Tribune that he was rejected after he applied for admission in O levels at Divisional Public school. “I saw my roll number on the admission list but was later told that it was a mistake and that I was not up to mark,” he stated. I approached the principal’s office and demanded mark sheet to verify the expulsion but instead was shown the door, he maintained.

However, the DPS Principal Abdul Shakoor refuted the discrimination allegations saying that Singh was not admitted because he flunked the English exam. He further stated that we don’t have minority reserved seat as we believe in education to all. Mian Sarfaraz, an Ahmedi student at a private school, recently faced expulsion after the students socially isolated him after he revealed his caste.

He stated many students in my class had reservation against my ethnicity and eventually they convinced the school authorities to expel me. When contacted, Federal Minority minister Shahbaz Bhatti said the government will work out a legislation subjugating all institution (private and public) to reserve a percentage for minorities and to admit them regardless of merit to avoid discriminatory conflict in academia. ]

He went on to state that it is beyond comprehension to witness our leading universities outcast students based on their religion and hence, the issue demands urgent attention.

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