India: Catholic School Invaded by Hindus

The Catholic school of Santa Maria, India, was invaded by Hindu radicals who demanded the placement of Hindu idols to be placed in classrooms at the institution.

Newsroom (22/02/2023 16:30, Gaudium Press) On February 20, a large number of Hindu radicals invaded the Catholic school of Santa Maria, located in the Indian state of Gujarat, demanding that images of Hindu deities be installed in the classrooms and in the principal’s office.

The invaders were mostly young people and said they were members of the most radical wing of Hinduism in India, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and the youngest wing of the same organization. They invaded the school around 10 am and only left the building around 5 pm, according to the school director, Father Binu Kunnel.

The young people also accused the school administration of tearing up a picture of a Hindu god. For the priest director, this is an orchestrated attempt to defame the school and to arouse hostility from the authorities. The priest informed the UCA agency that in 25 years of activities, the school has never had a problem with the local population, not even with the most extremist Hindus.

Request for protection

After the invasion, the priest Teles Fernandes, secretary of the Board of Education of Catholic Institutions, sent a letter to the Indian Minister Bhupendra Patel asking for protection from the authorities in relation to the Hindus who invaded the establishment.

“We request that necessary measures be taken against disorderly individuals and that police protection be granted to us so that no incidents occur in our facilities or with any member of our institution”, explains the letter.

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Representing 2.3% of the total population, Indian Catholics face persecution from Hindu nationalists that is growing more and more, especially after the rise to power of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Compiled by Raunaq Luis Fernandes


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