(AsiaNews) - "A shameful and
senseless dispute, fueled by rogue
elements who hope to obtain political consensus," says
Sajan K George,
president of the Global
Indian Christians (GCIC), commenting to AsiaNews on theepisode involving the Syro-Malabar
Catholic school, Mariambika English School, in the
village of Indabettu (Karnataka),
accused of having "Christianized"
school uniforms, although many of its students are of other religions.
It all began on September 2, when some parents - including members of radical Hindu groups - have complained to the school authorities over the new logos for t-shirts, belts and ID cards, which contained the symbol of the crucifix. The situation quickly degenerated, and the next day a crowd of people - mostly Hindu - organized a demonstration outside the institution. Due to the increasing tension, the Belthangady police intervened to bring the situation under control. The parents agreed to leave only after the school staff agreed to temporarily withdraw the new uniforms.
"The school logo - Sajan George tells AsiaNews - is a caricature of Mary, which is the vernacular name of the Institution itself and this logo was on the School Uniforms. The belts etc. carried a logo, which had a small cross".
According to the president of the GCIC, the episode was orchestrated by "the ultra-nationalist Hindu groups, who want to create distrust and disharmony among the different communities. Christian schools are among the most respected for the quality of education they impart. A demonstration of this, is the fact that Christian students are a minority in our institutes, which welcome a significant number of Hindu and Muslim pupils".
Moreover, notes Sajan George, "Mary is revered by all Indians, irrespective of their religion. Many non-Christians make pilgrimages to Marian shrines, and this makes what happened even more shocking". (NC)