Catholic Union to counter moves to saffronise education
DH News Service
PANAJI, Sept 18:The All India Catholic Union (AICU) is preparing to counter attempts by right-wing groups to saffronise education in India, and said it would network with political groups and civil society to "strengthen the secular and plural traditions of India".
The union also said it wanted an "international scrutiny" of the 400 cases of attacks against Christians that have taken place in India in the last two years. Thirty people have been killed in these 'hate' attacks, according to official figures.
But the AICU vice-president and spokesman John Dayal ruled out entirely any dialogue or "trade-off", as he put it, with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), over issues that concern the Christian or other minorities in this country, and which have come to the fore after the rise of the NDA government.
"The RSS does not represent Hindu society, and there can be no bilateral trade-off with an organisation responsible for the hate campaign against Christians," Mr Dayal told the media here. He said minorities had the support of the Hindu society in general, and that line of communication would always remain open.
The Catholic Union said it plans to approach the UN to prevent the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) from gaining accreditation with the UN Economic Commission which the VHP has sought. "We are asking the UN to look at the VHP's record of violence in this country," Mr Dayal said. The sangh offshoot was "collecting vast amounts abroad" and was accountable to no one for it, he said.
Christian organisations received but 4 per cent of foreign funds routed to this country in comparison, yet the Foreign Contribution and Regulations Act (FCRA) was being "subverted" to target missionary worke here, the AICU alleged. It called for the Union Home Ministry to make public all the data on foreign funding and its recipients.
Mr Dayal is to meet with a delegation of the European Commission later this month to discuss the "human rights and minorities situation" in India and the new FCRA.
Denouncing attempts by the sangh to "saffronise education and subvert many national academic institutions", Mr Dayal said RSS groups were using a three-pronged strategy to achieve this: first by taking control of apex agencies which formulate educational policies, second by opening single-teacher schools in dalit areas to inject saffron ideology into education, and lastly, by recruiting those committed to the sangh ideology into the teaching force on a large scale.
The Catholic Union said it was preparing to move the Supreme Court on the issue of rights to dalit Christians.