Friday, October 12, 2007
Indian Christian Schools Attacked for Not Observing Hindu Holiday
Two missionary-run schools in the Indian state of Maharashtra were ransacked by a little-known Hindu group on Wednesday for not declaring a holiday on the “Pitramoksha Day.”Although the state government declared Wednesday a holiday for all state-run educational institutions in Maharashtra, the Holy Cross and Saint Xavier's schools had decided to remain open.In light of the decision, authorities at the Christian schools were accused of taking up Western culture rather than acting according to age-old Indian culture."Missionary schools declare holidays during Western festivals, but they don't respect Hindu festivals,” commented Kishore Kothari, leader of Dharma Sena (Religion Army), a Hindu fundamentalist group supported by the VHP.“If my son goes to school on 'Pitramoksha Day,' how can he learn our traditional rituals?" he asked the local Indian Express.According to the city’s superintendent of police, Shashi Mohan Singh, the group behind Wednesday’s attack was armed with rods and sticks, and damaged two buses belonging to the Saint Xavier's school at Ashoka Towers in Shankar Nagar, Nagpur.Kothari further warned that "if missionary school managements don't mend their attitude, more protests will take place,"Pitramoksha Day, or Pitramoksha Amavasya, is an important day in the Hindu calendar when prayers are offered to the departed immediate relatives.
As in the days of Noah...