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Fears Among Minorities

THE Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao has expressed grave concerns over security of religious minorities, and very justifiably. Some time back, a Class XII student of a convent school in Bastar, Chhattisgarh was worried about a ‘whip’ that had been issued instructing students to stop addressing the school principal as ‘Father’ and start addressing him as ‘sir’, ‘pracharya’ or ‘up-pracharya’. The instruction came after a written agreement between the Jagdalpur Catholic Diocese and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Following the agreement, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, over two dozen Catholic schools that the diocese manages in the region also have to put up photographs of Goddess Saraswati.  Archbishop Ferrao has expressed his dismay over the alleged sexual assault in Chhattisgarh on a Catholic nun, who was gagged and tied to a cot on the night of June 19. The incident took place in Raipur, in a health centre run by the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. There is a growing disappointment for lack of speedy and effective action to nab the culprits to curb the trend. Even US President Barack Obama raised concern over attacks on religious minorities as India was full of magnificent diversity. It is a matter of increasing concern that the institutions, places of worship and people of minority religious faiths have been under attack. It is high time Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh take strong measures to rein in the bigoted elements from Hindu organisations and stop the violent, and overt and covert methods to ill-treat minorities.

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