Like the story of the "occult ceremony" at Loreto Convent school in Lucknow. What has now been entirely blown out of proportion by the media was originally an ill-conceived assembly at which a priest was to speak; rather than, or perhaps in addition to, addressing the students, the priest fell to the ground, began writhing, then declared that Jesus had entered his body.
Unorthodox, yes. But cause for a 30-minute news program at prime time? Cause for continuing coverage in the national newspapers, and a story distributed worldwide by Reuters? It's going a little too far. A frequent refrain I've heard is "Keep religion out of schools!" Now, brought up to firmly believe in the separation of church and state, one might imagine that I agree with this argument. But people seem to be forgetting that this is not a government-run school, but rather a private Christian institution, which parents pay to send their children to. I guess I'm saying, is it really so unexpected that Christianity is being promoted at a religious school? Should we protest madrasas because they instruct students according to the teaching of the Koran -- or do you not care because many Muslims in India are poor and marginalized, whereas the Christian community is relatively successful?
On one online forum, a respondent takes up this argument. I just can't help but think this poor chap -- and many of his peers -- is sorely misguided; it seems to me that the Indian government has so let down its people that faulty logic and conspiracy theories have become more sacred than demanding the provision of quality services for all. The man argues that another poster has erred in pointing out that parents should remove their children from private Christian schools if they so object to such religious overtones. He writes: My wife who is from is from Loreto, had to say prayers and she did not like it. But her mother told her never to complain because there were no other good schools there. now why other aided / unaided schools can not compete with convents is because there are discriminatory laws in a so called secular India. For example, missionaries always talk abt the caste system as a failure in Hinduism and a reason to convert. but, when other unaided ‘majority, institutions have to be ’socially responsible’ as per the 104th amendment, minority institutions do not have to. This means all institutions EXCEPT minority institutions are subject to reservations and other govenrment directives and supervision. This dilutes the quality of ‘majority’ institutions. how is this fair? christians form 3 to 4% of India’s population, but control more than 20% of ed institutions. don’t you think its unfair advantage to a community that is so empowered??? surely the idea behind giving special privileges to minorities is protection of their culture and values and religion and NOT AIDING THEIR CONVERSION EFFORTS THROUGH DISCRIMINATORY LAWS? have you thought abt this angle? have you tried to understand the root cause of this anger? let me be clear that i do not support vandalism or violance in any form. but the media only reports violance and never reports on the discrimination against the 80% Hindus. this is the friction.
The error in his logic, it seems, is that government supervision denigrates the quality of schools under its purview, and thus "minority institutions" -- which he has used as a synonym for "Christian school," though it would technically include...well, any school not run by a quasi-Hindu authority? But that's another fish to fry -- must lower themselves so as not to compete with government schools. Why, WHY isn't this man demanding that the government build more and better schools? Nothing is preventing non-Christians from building strong institutions; and only bureaucratic torpor and a sense that they can get away with providing poor quality education to those unable to afford private institutions prevents the government from pursuing reform (well, that and money, visionaries, etc.). I understand that parents want the best for their children, and that certain conflicts arise between what one wants and what one would have in a perfect world. But if you have already made this trade-off -- in this case, choosing to send the child to a private school although it is run by a religious minority -- you have no foot to stand on to raise a hue and cry about the indecency of religious ceremonies (even if they are a bunch of hoo-ha and an incredibly bad judgment call on the part of the school administration). Oh, yeah -- it's not the parents who are raising objections here. It's the media, it's the man on the street, and it's politicians. Let the parents, the school, and the students deal with this on their own terms; it's far more abominable for Hindu fundamentalists to physically desecrate the school than for a crackpot to claim he's possessed by Jesus and writhe around on the floor for a few minutes.