Mental shift

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Schools face Hindu backlash after closing to protest Orissa violence

Posted by jytmkh on September 3, 2008

<!– end –><!– start –>Published Sep 2, 2008

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Christians gather outside

Christians gather outside a shelter in Raikia village in the eastern Indian state of Orissa Aug. 30. Thousands of people, most of them Christians, have sought shelter in makeshift government camps in eastern India after anti-Christian violence has killed at least 14 people.

(CNS photo/Parth Sanyal, Reuters)

NEW DELHI (CNS) — Hindu groups demonstrated in front of Catholic institutions after schools closed in protest of anti-Christian violence in India’s eastern Orissa state.

More than 40,000 Christian educational institutions throughout India closed Aug. 29 in a nationwide protest against Hindu groups targeting Christians in Orissa.

In turn, Hindu groups protested the closures and the state government of Karnataka, dominated by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party, said it would take action against the schools for closing without permission, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News.

Father John Xavier, vicar general of the Gwalior Diocese in Madhya Pradesh, told UCA News Sept. 1 that Hindu demonstrators had tried to enter the grounds of several local schools. They threw stones and destroyed property, including buses.

Elsewhere in Madhya Pradesh, Joseph Christuraj, spokesman for the Jabalpur Diocese, told UCA News Sept. 1 that activists burned effigies of Pope Benedict XVI and shouted anti-Christian slogans in front of a diocesan-run school Aug. 30.

The spokesman for the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh, Father Anand Muttungal, told UCA News that activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the worldwide Hindu council, tried to plant the group’s flag on the campus of a school in the Satna Diocese.

During all the demonstrations, Vishwa Hindu Parishad slogans asked Christians to explain why they killed Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.

The anti-Christian violence began Aug. 24, a day after suspected Maoists killed the 85-year-old Hindu religious leader and five of his associates in Orissa’s Kandhamal district. Hindu groups blame Christians for the killings, but Christians have denied responsibility. As of Sept. 1, Christian sources in the state confirmed the deaths of 25 people, mostly Christians, and said another four deaths were being verified.

Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, Karnataka’s minister for primary and secondary education, said he was upset that Christians closed their more than 2,000 schools in the state without getting permission from the government. He told reporters in the state capital Bangalore Aug. 29 that he has directed his officials to take action against the institutions that closed.

“Educational institutions should not be made tools for such issues. This will impact the sentiments of young minds and affect educational activities,” he said.

But Bethany Sister Ann Teresa, national president of the All India Association of Catholic Schools, told UCA News the educational institutions have the freedom to declare any five working days as holidays for their own reasons.

“This freedom is enshrined in the education policy of the state, which the minister is unaware of,” she said, adding that the state government is looking for opportunities to harass Christian institutions.

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore told UCA News Sept. 1 that the state government was “only bothered about creating more trouble for Christian schools and colleges … not solving their problems.”

Meanwhile, a delegation of Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders met Indian President Pratibha Patil in New Delhi Sept. 1 to ask her to force the Orissa administration to protect Christians.

Church leaders earlier had met the prime minister but the violence continued.

“Had the federal government acted in time, so many lives would not have been lost,” said Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil of Ernakulam-Angamaly, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. He blamed the federal coalition, led by the Congress Party, for failing to intervene effectively and contain the violence.

“It is the duty” of the federal government to act when “a state government fails to protect the lives and property of citizens,” he told a rally of about 5,000 Catholics Aug. 31 in Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala state in southern India.


7 Responses to “Schools face Hindu backlash after closing to protest Orissa violence”

  1. R.Sajan said

    That the schools are being run not as charity or because of altruism is evidenced by their use for ploiticking, as seen here.

  2. Nimmy said

    I agree missionaries have hiden agenda..But violence is not the rectification method..What if they retaliate in the same coin..??

  3. rsajan said

    They are initiating and retaliating. August violence was a result of their initiative only.

  4. philip Falcao said

    Why can’t institutions remain closed in mourning and sympathy for those killed. Does not the nation declare national day of mourning when a top official of the govt is killed? So why not, when brothers and sisters are victims of mindless and insane violence. The govt. issue of a ‘Show cause notice is illogical and tantamount to killing and will not stand the scrutiny of a just court of law.

  5. Partha Dash said

    I do agree Philip …. why to close school and college when Christian dies .. why Hindus are not ur brother and sisters … when a hindu die in Delhi or Mumbai bomb balst ur so call great missionaries school dose not close there buisness … why they dont give free education to a poor hindu child …. why so double standard …

    I am from Orissa .. and i know the state of tribals in Orissa than any other F c k in this world .. We the ppl of orissa are peace loving ppl, with so much poverty and social problem we never raised our voice …. now when we are reacting then ppl have got problem ….. After converting so many tribals to Christianity, still there state is same poor, uneducated, socialy backward…. noting has change. Now we hindu have got money have got a political party who support us and now getting organised to counter ur evil missionaries and there desire …..

    This will continue till we re convert ever Christian in orissa to hinduism… This is Hindustan not British raj India

  6. I am from punjab and i want to give ans for partha dash,if you ppl are realy peace loving the what the hell going on you tell me and tell others also.i dont want to use any bad language but you ppl are not peace loving ppl and surly not a good ppl must learn from punjabi ppl how to love. i dont think any body can convert anybody without there consent ,and if anybody is converting someone forcefully that is wrong and i and i think all christian communty will condem that.

  7. bob said

    dt8pS6 hi nice site thx

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