I was abused as a child in the boarding school at Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith- Purulia. Physical abuse on children was rampant, but the mental indoctrination was even more abusive.
I was passionate about languages & acting, but was barred from both as I was bad at math! Monks told my parents that I wasn't good for anything if I wasn't good in the sciences. Finally dad, who was a photographer, had to take a lot of pics for free to get me into French.
When I finally did act, I was given the role of a hangman with just 1 word. I was also constantly shamed by the teachers and the monks for my dark-skinned. Treated as untouchable, called nasty names, because of my skin colour. Naturally, students bullied me the same way.
When I was in 7th standard, there was this monk who was the warden of our hostel. He took pride in the fact that not many students under his wardenship had left without being hit by him. He has a series of "informers" among students who were asked to make a list.
Then, out of the blue, in the name of disciplining he would call the students asked them to queue up and then go on a hitting rampage with a well-oiled stick, without even explaining what you did to deserve it.
I remember that one day I had fever so could not go to the study hall in the evening. I had come back from the clinic and laid down. The monk came in hand started hitting me without asking why I wasn't in the study.
Because I had no interested in math & sciences, because I was told repeatedly that I wasn't good enough or smart enough and no effort was made to encourage me, I'd just given up. At every occasion I was reminded that I won't ever make it to "greatness".
Those 7 years in the boarding school, the formative years of my life, completely broke me, made me very very low on self-esteem and confidence. I hated looking at myself in the mirror, and I was convinced that I am a trash.
It just broke me. Broke me from within. I was convinced that there was something wrong with me. So were my parents, who were ardent Ramakrishna Mission followers. What a monk told them had to be true. Monks could never lie, and their own child could.
So the years after leaving school was an uphill struggle. Struggle to make friends, struggle to prove myself, which I did because of the kindness of some of my later friends and teachers. But it was a hell of a struggle to cope and escape the indoctrination of the RKM cult
Finally, getting to the #UK taught me my self worth. That I was valuable. I met really kind people there, who were in my class, my landlords, my friends families and professors. UK was liberating and it healed me to a great extent. For which I will remain grateful.
Now, I am sure that I am not the only one who suffered such childhood traumas from the same school. The system was deeply rotten, and pedagogy non-existent. But the cult like indoctrination makes you doubt yourself & makes you treat your abuser as close to GOD.
I am coming out with my story today very publicly, because this story needs to be told, shared and because I want to protect the future generations from going through the same thing. I want parents to know before they decide to send them to schools like that.
I also want to tell those of you who suffered the similar way, and are still suffering silently, that you do not need to suffer anymore, that you can speak out. People will tell you-you are crazy, that you are wrong. But you aren't. I will always be there to hear you out.
Feel free to reach out to me, if you are suffering and need someone to talk to, to at least lighten your burden. Reach out to me on tathagata@live.co.uk. You deserve to be heard.
(16/n) Okay before someone comes and starts gaslighting by saying “all monks aren’t bad”, I know that. I went to RKM Belur in 11th & 12th STD and monks there were really nice, compassionate and full of empathy. But saying all aren’t bad diminishes the problem which exists!
(17/n) So if you’re asking me did I not have ANY good experience in Purulia? Of course I did. Did I not have friends? Of course I did. It’s never black and white. But good experiences should not eclipse & shouldn’t be an excuse to overlook systemic abuse physical or psychological

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