Since the recent re-election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hostility against Christian schools has moved up a notch in India. As proof, this declaration by a high magistrate openly evoking the danger for young girls to attend such schools.
The case dates back to August 15, 2019, when Judge Vaidyanathan, who sits in the Madras High Court, publicly warned parents against Christian schools which in his view are “a danger to the future of girls.”
The magistrate was speaking after a sordid history of abuse that a teacher at Madras Christian College—a Protestant institution—was guilty of against a minor, and the story of which the media has picked up.
Reacting to these remarks, the Conference of Bishops of Tamil Nadu (TNBC) and other Christian associations, have strongly protested, expressing their concerns. Because what Judge Vaidyanathan is basically criticizing is Christian teachers, who he claims, are “forcing Hindu girls to convert to Christianity,” which is a crime in India.
“The judge’s statement about forced conversions is unfounded and totally off topic on the merits of the case,” said Ravi Santosham, president of the Indian Christian Association. For his part, Fr. L. Sahayaraj, deputy secretary of the Council of Bishops of Tamil Nadu, told the Crux news website that the magistrate’s remarks were “regrettable,” especially since “a forced conversion is not at all in question in this specific case,” that of the abuse that took place at Madras Christian College.
Since 2014, India has been led by the Bharatiya Janata Nationalist Party (BJP), which has close links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu militant organization advocating the eradication of Christianity, and Hindutva, i.e., the forced return of all Indians to the idolatry of their ancestors.
The anti-Christian attacks have increased in the last five years in the country, with many Christians arrested for “attempted conversion,” not to mention the many vandalized places of worship.
In India, the Society of Saint Pius X has been exercising its apostolate for many years. In Palayamkottai, an orphanage and a school provide an authentic Christian education.