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Saturday, January 28, 2023

MP: Hindu outfits protest against Christian school’s anti-cracker propaganda

Hindu organisations protested against a Christian school in Madhya Pradesh by bursting fire crackers. The school had conducted a rally and its students performed a street play advocating against crackers in the name of environmental activism.

St Joseph’s Convent School in Khandwa, MP had organised a rally and street play on October 21. It reportedly had the message of avoiding crackers on Deepavali as they cause pollution. Hindu organisations objected to this demonising of Hindu practices and staged a protest in front of the school on October 25. They peacefully protested by bursting crackers in front of the school.

While the school authorities say that they only asked people to celebrate Deepavali in a safe way, Hindu organisations accuse them of asking people to not burst crackers through their events. BJP had opposed the rally and street play organised in Tiraha Municipal Corporation. BJP leaders had an argument with the school authorities as the children appealed to not burst fire crackers on Deepavali.

In protest Hindu organisations burst a lot of firecrackers in front of the school and warned the latter against repeating such Hinduphobic acts in the future. St Joseph’s Convent School comes under the Khandwa diocese. The diocese had earlier come under fire for trying to convert tribal children. A few weeks ago Deepavali Hindu organisations stopped a vehicle carrying tribal children from nearby villages to a Christian school run by the diocese.

They alleged that the children were being taken to be converted. The school claimed that the children were brought to attend some yearly convention. Hindu outfits complained that they didn’t have permission to conduct the event and should be booked for violating rules. The school claimed that all children were Catholics but accepted that they didn’t get permission from the district administration to conduct the event.

Christian schools were the first to initiate propaganda against bursting firecrackers on the pretext of protecting the environment which was gradually picked up even by Hindu schools. It went mainstream after vested interests actively started campaigning against crackers. In 2017, Servite Matriculation School, a Christian school in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, had punished children for bursting firecrackers on Deepavali. 

The school had made children undertake an oath that they wouldn’t burst crackers on Deepavali and upon returning after holidays they were inquired about whether they followed it. Those who celebrated Deepavali without bursting crackers were lauded and those who didn’t follow the oath were asked to apologise to nature. Such tactics have made many children give up the joy of bursting crackers on their own.

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