Concern in Goa as Hindu group storms Catholic college – UCA News

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The student wing of ruling pro-Hindu party stage a protest and disrupt classes in Goa’s St. Xavier’s College

Concern in Goa as Hindu group storms Catholic college

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa, offers incense during a religious service held during the exposition of the body of St. Francis Xavier in Old Goa, on Nov. 21, 2004. (Photo: AFP)

By UCA News Reporter

Published: January 24, 2023 11:35 AM GMT

Church leaders in Goa, a former Portuguese colony in western India, have expressed concern over the ruling pro-Hindu party’s push to infiltrate Catholic educational institutions.

“Our Catholic educational institutions are getting more and more communalized,” with the backing of the ruling pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the state and at federal level, says Jesuit Father Anthony Da Silva, director of Xavier Centre of Historical Research in Goa.

The aim is to push forward the pro-Hindu ideology on Christian educational campuses, the Jesuit priest alleged.

Father Da Silva was particularly referring to a recent incident in which some members of BJP’s student wing created tension in the Church-run St. Xavier’s College by shouting slogans and disrupting classes. The college comes under the archdiocese of Goa and Daman.  

The members of ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad or All Indian Students Forum) were protesting the college authorities’ refusal to induct the new Student Council in the college after the pro-Hindu students’ wing won the council elections held in December for the academic year 2022-23.

It was an “unfortunate and unprecedented incident” in the 60-year-old college, according to Father Tony Salema, the college administrator.

College principal Blanche Mascarenhas refused to meet the unruly protesters and the management asked them to disperse.  But protesters refused, forcing the management to call the police.

The protestors also refused to follow police directions, and the college management sought the help of the deputy collector to bring the situation under control, Father Salema said in a statement.

“For the first time, we had a cultural shock with the political sloganeering,” said Father Ramiro Luis, assistant professor of psychology at St Xavier’s.

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Concern in Goa as Hindu group storms Catholic college – UCA News

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