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Q: The Hindu Jagaran Manch threatened Christian schools in UP asking them not to celebrate Christmas. Are they doing it with the connivance of the ruling party or the government? Did you celebrate Christmas in schools?

A: Actually it is the voice of an insignificant group, but highly amplified in the media. In our school we celebrated Christmas without any problem, no one came and threatened us. In Agra we had a one-hour Christmas play acted out by the children. Here we celebrate Christmas elaborately in the schools. The Hindu Jagaran Manch is a very small group; we don’t know who they are. They are against Christmas and New Year celebrations because of their western tag. The BJP and the RSS have a longterm agenda to make this nation a Hindu Rashtra. We don’t know how far they will go with their saffron agenda. It should be taken as a test of democracy. They look up to the UP Chief Minister as their model. Small fringe groups are trying to rise to prominence by making this sorts of threats. Actually they are testing how the Christians would react. We respond by making every effort to harmonize our lives and activities with the society in which we exist. In our schools we also celebrate Diwali, Holi and other festivals symbolically. We all have to fight for democratic and secular values. The time has come for us to stand up together not only for the Christians but for the whole community.

Abp Albert D’Souza
Agra

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