Panaji: Continuing to be accused of being against Indian and Hindu culture, ‘Conference of Religious’, a Church organisation which oversees the functioning of convent schools in Goa, on Monday claimed that “false propaganda” was being spread to mislead people.
In a statement issued here, Fr Paul Alvares, president of the Conference of Religious in Goa, said “individual religion and culture of the child” were respected and encouraged in the schools operated by them.
“The Conference of Religious, Goa unit, under which most of the convent schools come, would like to clarify that we stand for secularism as enshrined in our constitution and through our educational institutes we promote all religions and encourage the upliftment and development of all cultures,” the statement said.
“India is a multi-cultural country with diverse forms of living. We are not here to promote any one culture nor to promote any one religion. We respect all religions and all cultures and we work to develop the all round growth of the child, which includes physical, intellectual, moral and social dimensions,” the statement said.
Nearly 26 percent of the state’s population is Christian, while there are over 130 schools which function under the aegis of the Archdiocese in Goa.
On Sunday, in a statement issued here, the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, a right wing organisation based in Goa, alleged that convent schools do not allow students to wear Indian dresses and kumkum and implored parents not to admit their wards in schools run by Christian institutions when the educational year opens in June.
On April 5, Goa’s Factories and Boilers Minister Deepak Dhavalikar’s wife Lata alleged that western culture leads to rape at a public meeting organised by the Samiti and also said convent schools alienate children from Hindu and Indian culture.
Her statement was backed a couple of days later by her husband.