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Proposal to Crackdown Church Schools in India

Friday, November 9, 2018, 11:13 (IST)

Christian and Muslim leaders in India fear a pro-Hindu group's demand to revisit a policy allowing minority groups to own and manage educational institutions in the country. The demand is seen as the bid to shutdown Christian and Muslim owned schools.

On Oct. 10, the Centre for Policy Analysis, a think tank of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), stated that allowing religious minority groups to have institutions for their own people was practically the same as "compartmentalization" that works against the unity of India.

"There is no rationale for the existence of a separate wing for education of minorities such as [the] National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions in the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Aren't such types of national level regulating bodies compartmentalizing education on religious lines and weakening the national mainstream?" asked the report.

The Centre for Policy Analysis seeks the government to stop the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, a legal body that advises the federal and state government on issues related to minority institutions.

The demand goes is unconstitutional, said Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta.

"In effect, they are asking to change the Indian constitution," the archbishop told ucanews.com.

"All Indians, particularly religious minorities, should be afraid about such demands," he added.

Some 220 million people of 1.2 billion Indians are legally considered part of a religious minority.

Christian leader Joseph Dias told ucanews.com the Centre for Policy Analysis' report is aimed at "polarizing people" on religious lines ahead of the national elections due in next May.

"Catholic institutions keep a high standard ... And, a huge majority of students in them are non-Christians. So doing away with such institutions will hit the majority community more than minorities," he added.