Hindu Nationalists Protest Catholic School in India’s Madhya Pradesh State

ICC Note:

Hindu nationalists have staged a protest against a Catholic school in India’s Madhya Pradesh state after the school reprimanded two students for singing the Vande Mataram. After the students were reprimanded, Hindu nationalists blew the incident out of proportion claiming the school was acting in an “anti-national” way. In recent months, Christian institutions, such as schools and hospitals, have come under increasing pressure from Hindu nationalists in Madhya Pradesh. Following the protest, the school sought police protection. Will India protect Christian institutions from Hindu nationalists? 

01/16/2018 India (Asia News) – A group of radical Hindus staged a protest today against a Catholic school in Madhya Pradesh for reprimanding two unruly students.

The facility in question is the St Joseph Convent School in Namli, Ratlam District. It cautioned two students for singing the Vande Mataram (hymn to Mother Earth), which became famous during the Indian independence movement as a form of non-violent protest against British rule.

The incident provided the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Hindu fundamentalist Vishva Hindu Parishad, with an excuse to accuse the administration, without any proof, of having suspended 20 students for chanting patriotic slogans.

The school is run by the Sisters of St Joseph of Chambery. The two students were caught pestering other students. Contacted by the sisters, the parents of both boys promptly apologized for their inappropriate behavior.

This morning, Hindu radicals gathered in front of the school, complaining about the nuns’ “anti-national” behavior. The school rejected the accusations and turned to the police for protection.

In Madhya Pradesh Hindu extremists have targeted Christian institutions for persecution, accusing them of “forced conversions” or acts contrary to the nation’s Hinduness.

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