Hindutva group issues ultimatums to Christian-run schools in Assam Civil society leaders highlight Christian harassment in state

04, Mar 2024 | CJP Team

A Hindutva radical group known as Sanmilita Sanatan Samaj has been running a poster campaign in various parts of Guwahati and have been giving ultimatums to missionaries associated with schools. The posters particularly targeted noted schools such as Don Bosco School and St Mary’s School in Guwahati, as well as Don Bosco High School Lichubari in Dibrugarh and Carmel School Jorhat.

According to The Hindu, these posters were posted by the Sanmilita Sanatan Samaj organisation, now are across the walls of missionary-run educational institutions in Guwahati, Barpeta, Jorhat, and Sivasagar towns.

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The group has demanded the removal of Christian symbols and idols and chapels from missionary school premises arguing that it was against the alleged transformation of educational institutions into religious institutes. The campaign came after a deadline set by the Kutumba Suraksha Parishad, which is reported as another radical group, and thus called for the elimination of idols of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary from these missionary schools. 

According to Hub Network, Kutumba Suraksha Parishad president Satya Ranjan Borah told reporters: “I am delighted to hear that many people come forward for a poster campaign. The people of Assam realised this. Earlier a few people were protesting against it.”

Furthermore, the Parishad insisted that fathers and sisters associated with these institutions should change their manner of dressing and follow a ‘normal dress.’

Furthermore, posters from this radical group have come up not only in educational institutions but also in public spaces like Nehru Park and Dighalipukhuri in the city, as well as in Barpeta and Sivasagar. An excerpt from the poster states, “This is the final warning to stop using the school as a religious institution. Remove Jesus Christ, Mary, cross, church, etc., from the school premises and stop such anti-Bharat and unconstitutional activities, or else.”

These recent poster campaigns have made the schools administration feel insecure and unsafe which has led to school principals have written to the local police requesting attention to the incidents and for police protection

A teacher, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed the fear among the school staff, stating, “We are feeling insecure due to such posters. Because they said they would go to any extent if we do not follow their command.” 

The issue has been raised to leaders in the region as well. Conrad Sanma, Meghalaya Chief Minister has stated, in response to a query raised during the zero-hour by UDP legislator Mayralborn Syiem in the Assembly, about the state government’s commitment to the welfare of its citizens and promised an inquiry in the claims after reports arrived of a campaign by a radical Hindutva groups against missionary schools which have also reportedly taken place along the Meghalaya-Assam boundary. Similarly, Nagaland’s Catholic Research Forum has called upon chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to address the issues affecting Christians. The NECRF submitted a memorandum with 38 members, detailing instances of discrimination and harassment against Christians and tribals in Assam, India Today NE reported on March 4. 

Image Courtesy: thekashmiriyat.co.uk


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