Jagdalpur, Nov25 (TruthDive):VHP( Vishwa Hindu Parishad), has told all Christian schools and hospitals that it should display Goddess Saraswati in all rooms, and that priests who are taking classes would not be addressed as`Father’, but only as`Sir’, by Hindu students. This diktat from Bastar unit of VHP, has gone out to all Christian schools and hospitals, which are mostly run by Catholic church. The Christian outfits have agreed to VHP diktat, as they do not want a run in with the saffron outfit.
The district is a notified Naxal area, where there is a frequent run in with the security forces. Chhattisgarh State’s 26% of the tribal population is in Bastar. Most of them live off the produce of forest and rest on agriculture. 70% of the population is tribals and the government has inked pacts to open two mining companies and put in force many developmental projects like building roads. The attack by Naxals has been a major obstacle in executing these projects. Naxals are able to attract many of these tribal’s who live in the interior forests, to take to the gun. Chhattisgarh was in the news recently for sterilization deaths. Ruled by BJP, the saffron outfits are now very active and they view any social service activity by Christians as a move to conversion.
The trouble started after a Bishop from Jagdalpur who visited a Christian school in Bastar said about the deeds of Father Chavara who was anointed as saint, by Pope. He said that Catholic church had spread education throughout Kerala and thereby made it a 100% literate State. The media reported that Catholic mission was now going to open schools all over Bastar, and as VHP views such activities with suspicion , it marched to the school with a diktat that Goddess Saraswati statues should be erected in the school and morning prayers should be done in front of the idol. The same should be followed in hospitals run by the Catholics, said VHP. Finally the church agreed to place the Goddess photo in all classrooms and told VHP that it never compelled students to address priests taking classes as `Father’, and they can call them as`Sir’ instead. Finally, VHP won and sanity took a back seat.