Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Church in
India has come out in favour of the principal of a Catholic school in Mumbai, saying
that "everyone has the right to express their opinion."
This follows a controversy caused
by Fr Frazer
Mascarenhas SJ, principal at St Xavier's College, who posted his reflections on
India's current election on the school's website.
Reacting to the post, the Hindu
nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked the Election Commission to have the
In his article, the Jesuit clergyman
raises questions about "what constitutes human development and how it is
to be achieved."
In so doing, he focused on the Gujarat
model, a state ostensibly on a path of development free from communal
Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime
ministerial candidate in this election, has been Gujarat's chief minister for the
past ten years, after winning three consecutive elections.
However, Fr Mascarenhas debunks the myth spread
by Modi's propaganda machine.
For the priest, India has some
questions to ask itself. "Is the growth of big business, the making of huge
profits the achievement of high production - what we seek? Or is it the quality
of life for the majority in terms of affordable basic goods and services and
the freedom to take forward the cultural aspirations of our plural social
groups that make up India?
first case, which corresponds to the Gujarat model, "The prospect
of an alliance of corporate capital and communal forces coming to power
constitutes a real threat to the future of our secular democracy," words that elicited
the BJP's reaction.
For Card Oswald
Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, "Fr Frazer gave an objective analysis. An educator
educates his students to examine situations in an objective manner. It is a
shame that the issue has been politicised."
"In a democracy everyone has a right
to state his or her opinion," said Fr Errol
Fernandes SJ, principal of the Commerce Section at the same college. "This must always be done with
dignity and without any attempt to malign the name of another."
"Fr Frazer has not imposed his
view on anyone," Fr Fernandes explained. "Those who have read him are welcome
to have their own point of view and even to differ."