Madras High Court judge withdrew his comments on Christians

Published 24 August 2019  |  
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Madras High Court Justice S. Vaidyanathan withdrew his comments that Christian institutions are highly unsafe for children and that Christian missionaries are indulging in compulsory conversion of people of other religions into Christianity.

Vaidyanathan had earlier said that "there is a general feeling among parents of students, especially female students, that coeducational study in Christian institutions is highly unsafe for the future of their children."

He also pointed out that Christian missionaries are always the source of attack in one way or the other and, in the present era, there are several accusations against them for indulging in compulsory conversion of people of other religions into Christianity.

His opinion caused grief among members of the Christian community and was widely criticized.

On August 20, the counsel for the Madras Christian College, John Jackria requested the judge to withdraw his observations. Vaidyanathan accepted the request and removed the paragraphs that included the controversial remarks.

Deputy Secretary of Tamil Nadu Bishops' Council, Father L. Sahayaraj welcomed the judge withdrawing his comments.

In a statement issued by Archbishop Antony Pappusamy of Madurai, he said the case is not in any way connected with the question of religious conversion. Therefore, the observation on religious conversion was unwarranted.

"The words from a judge could become a law, the baseless accusations of the judge could have a serious impact on the welfare of minorities in the current sociopolitical climate," said the All India Democratic Women's Association in its statement.

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