Christmas is about to come and we can’t be happier.The decorations in the city,special cakes in bakeries,holiday plan’s, gifts and chocolates,warm blankets,there’s so much to love about this season.Especially for children,for whom,Christmas is their favourite festival.
In India,we’ve grown up celebrating festivals of different religions with the same joy and spirit.We’ve learnt to exchange sweets on Diwali and Eid,visiting church on Christmas,eating langar at Gurudwara and much more.
But it seems,some religious groups can’t digest this harmony.
Last week,in Aligarh,a district in west Uttar Pradesh,a religious group named Hindu Jagaran Manch issued pamphlets to the management of the schools in the city asking them to celebrate Christmas at their own risk.According to them,the festival is a means for religious conversion and therefore,they’ve come out to be the self-proclaimed protectors of Hinduism.
Taking law and order in their¬† own hands,they’ve decided to protest against the celebration in schools and if a need arises, they’re ready to choose violence as well.
Their leader Sonu Savita is of the opinion that celebrating Christmas will affect the children mentally and it’s one of the ways to convert them into Christianity.
However, to much relief,the government of the state has promised to safeguard the interest of all communities.Dinesh Sharma,Deputy CM of UP has announced that all religions have to be equally respected and people are free to celebrate any festival.Seeing the security of the children,the police force will be deployed in the school premises to check for any unusual activity.
Taking opinions in the city, the parents and teachers are disheartened to hear such things.Besides, Pravin Agarwal, chairman of the Public School Development Society and Anurag Gupta, Incharge of the parents‚Äô association have also expressed their disagreement.
Although there will be no ban in near future,this order/advisory has given us many questions to think about.
Are we really tolerant? How can such religious groups exercise this much power? Why the government is not taking any strict action? Do we respect diversity? Do we have the freedom of religion?
These are questions which will be answered in the coming years but things on ground aren’t looking that great.