The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Parents allege Christianity being thrust upon wards

BANGALORE: A moral education programme for students at Ryan International School near Whitefield has snowballed into a controversy, with parents alleging that ideas about Christianity were thrust on children along with literature that was misleading and insulting to other faiths.

Angry parents said that speakers at the programme emphasised Christianity, urged the children not to go to temples. Some parents claimed that students were told it was important for all of them to attend church.

The trouble began when the students of Ryan International School returned home on Thursday and some of them informed their parents about their activities during the day, including the message.

Some concerned parents tried to meet the principal, but the situation turned volatile when a Hindu right-wing group joined the fray.

Its activists reportedly went on a rampage in the school and burnt the literature that had been distributed. The group also warned school authorities that the matter would be take up with the education department.

Pramod Reddy, one of the parents, has lodged a complaint with Mahadevpura police, who have registered a case under Section 295 A of the IPC — deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

School authorities, however, claim the programme was a routine part of the school's events and nothing was stated to incite communal discord.

"We invite people from various fields to speak to our students on moral values. Speakers include those from top IT firms and even retired Army officers,"junior school headmistress Seema said.The police said they were looking into the allegations made by the parents.

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