Chennai: Days after he stoked a controversy by insinuating that Christian education institutions were unsafe for women and that they indulged in forcible religious conversion, a judge of the Madras High Court on Tuesday agreed to withdraw the remarks from his order.
Justice Vaidyanathan had made the controversial remarks while dismissing a petition filed by a professor of the famed Madras Christian College challenging a notice issued to him by the college following charges of sexual harassment filed by girl students.
The Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council, Tamil Nadu Latin Bishops’ Council, Indian Christian Association of Tamil Nadu, All India Democratic Women’s Association and MDMK leader Vaiko had taken exception to the comments saying it was “unwarranted” and unrelated to the case at hand.
The National Commission for Minorities Vice Chairman George Kurian had also issued a statement expressing anguish over the judge’s observations.
On Tuesday, the counsel for Madras Christian College represented to the judge saying the remarks could be withdrawn. Following this the judge said he would remove those observations from the order.
The contentious remarks read: “Before parting with the judgment, this Court feels it appropriate to point out that Christian missionaries are always on the source of attack in one way or the other and in the present era, there are several accusations against them for indulging in compulsory conversion of people of other religions into Christianity.
Now, there is a general feeling amongst the parents of students, especially female students that co-educational study in Christian institutions is highly unsafe for the future of their children and though they impart good education, the preach of morality will be a million dollar question.
As long as a religion is practiced in streets in lieu of its worship places, like Temple, Mosque, Church, etc., such devastation, as in the present case, does occur and will be mushrooming.”
By Dravida Thambi