Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Are Missionary Schools different from Madrassas?

Are Missionary Schools different from Madrassas?
Posted September 6, 2008
A. Kumar
On August 29, 2008, all Roman Catholic educational institutions across India remained closed for the day. The decision to close down all catholic-run schools was taken on the directives of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) after consultation with different churches.

August 29 was Friday, and no national holiday was declared on that day. Then, why did CBCI decide to give a holiday to the school children?
It was "protesting the communal violence on Christians" in the Indian state of Orissa.

Yes, Orissa is undergoing communal tension and violence and Hindu-Christian riots after the murder of 80 year old Hindu monk Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati allegedly by a group of armed Christian terrorists.

Although it is a law and order problem of the Orissa state government, missionaries have every right to express their views. Everybody in India, a liberal democracy, has a right to register his or her peaceful protest on any public matter. CBCI missionaries could register their feelings about the communal violence in hundreds of other ways. But why did they chose to involve innocent children in this highly poilitical and religious exercise?

What if missionaries own a big airlines company, road transport network, shipping unit, postal network etc.? Would they have stopped all of these services to "register their protest"?

Yes. that is the typical missionary mind! Most of the missionaries are experts not only in converting people but also in converting every situation to their advantage by crying wolf and unleashing huge, systematic propaganda. History is full of such stories.

Just one example. Some years ago, two nuns were allegedly raped in Jabua of Madhya Pradesh state. The nuns complained that some local Hindu activists had raped them. Immeadiately senior missionaries screamed that Hindus were raping nuns all over India. The news got international attention and very soon became a hot topic all over the world. Big protests were planned and undertaken. Later, after the investigation, it was turned out to be a fradulent charge. The nuns were actually molested by some local Christian activists, over an internal issue. But Hindus got all the blame! That is the typical missionary-bluff.

What happened in Orissa? Swamy Lakshmananannda, a well-known, highly respectable Hindu spiritual leader of Orissa's Kandhmal district, who also belonged to Vishva Hindu Parishad, was preventing Hindus from becoming Christians. He was a big threat to missionary campaigns.

On August 23, a Krishna Janmashtami Day, Swamiji was preparing to worship Lord Krishna in his ashram. According to reports, "a group of 30-40 armed assailants surrounded the place. Eyewitnesses said about four of the assailants carried AK-47s and many others had revolvers. The assailants tied down the two guards, and gagged them. They then sought out the Swamiji within the premises and opened fire on him. The recovered bullets show they were from an AK-47, the police said. The assailants then warned the guards not to raise an alarm and fled the scene."

Police initially suspected Maoist- terrorists. But nobody in the area believes that. It was a known fact that the Swamiji had a threat from the local Christian conversion-mafia. He had repeatedly lodged police complaints about his threat perceptions. Hindu-Christian communal clash has started after his brutal murder.

Missionaries have a right to tell their own version of the story. But they do not have any right to politicize the innocent school children for their own religious purposes.

Karnataka Government has already issued notices to aided Christian institutions for the illegal closure of schools. But the state's Congress leaders have come to the rescue of missionaries. Their take: You cannnot issue notices to missionary schools just beacuse they take aid from the state. They can do anything. They have every right to register their protest even by closing the schools they run.

The law is very clear. According to the landmark judgment given by the Supreme Court on October 31, 2002, the right to administer minority educational institution is not absolute. The court has held that all aided institutions could be subject to regulatory measures by the state. It was a 11-judge Constitution Bench, headed by the then Chief Justice, B.N. Kirpal, and also, an unanimous verdict. The apex court had also said that states could apply regulations even to unaided minority institutions to achieve educational excellence. As per the law, all aided minority schools should take non-minority students as well. The percentage of such students is fixed by the concerned state or university. But the Congress Party, headed by a Roman Catholic, wants to find itself with the law-breakers!

It is highly condemnable act on the part of the Catholic Church. Nobody with clear conscience and morality would use children to register a sectarian protest, for that mater, any protest. At this age, they have a right to receive non-partisan education in a scietific way.

A child's mind should not get corrupted. But CBCI is behaving like Jamat-e-Islami and Tablig-e-Jamaat. After turning St. Stephen's College of Delhi into a Christian Deoband, the emboldened CBCI is perhaps getting ready

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