The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the apex decision-making body of the Indian Catholic Church, on Friday expressed concern over “radical elements targeting the education sector” in the state. The CBCI statement came after the ruling CPI(M) cautioned against the ‘deliberate attempt’ by a section to lure educated women studying in professional colleges to the path of communalism and terrorism.
“The agenda of the radical elements targeting the education sector cannot be taken in a light manner as the ruling party itself has openly admitted that matter and in this scenario, serious interventions must be made,” CBCI Laity Council secretary Cheveliar V C Sebastian said in a statement. The CPI(M) remarks were made in an in-house note prepared by the ruling party in connection with the inauguration of the upcoming party conventions in the state.
Under the sub-title “Minority Communalism”, the note said it should be viewed seriously that even debates, supporting terrorist outfits like Taliban, which was denounced by the democratic world and majority in the Muslim community, were occurring in the state.
“Deliberate attempts are being made to lure youth into communalism and extremist ideologies. Conscious efforts are on to make educated young women in the professional colleges to think that way. Both the student union and youth organisation (of CPI-M) should pay special attention to the issue,” it said.
The CBCI Laity Council secretary said the church doubts that a long-term agenda, targeting the educational institutions in the state has been formulated by the radical elements. “Some independent student unions formed by such radical elements have even taken over the college unions of some professional colleges in the state,” he said in the statement.
He said in 2021-22, Kerala university received over 24,000 applications from students from abroad, mainly Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and said that it was high time that “we need to introspect the reason behind those who reach the state for studies” while students from Kerala are leaving for other states or countries for higher studies. ”Those who have reached the state from Kashmir to study must also be monitored,” the CBCI statement said.
Stating that extremist forces were infiltrating mainstream Muslim outfits and trying to create issues in the southern state, the CPI(M) note said the actions of Sangh Parivar forces had instilled a sense of insecurity among the minority groups. The Marxist party also asked its cadres to be vigilant about the issues.
Deliberate attempts were being made to turn the Christian community against the Muslims in the state, the CPI(M) party note had said, adding that such moves would help the majority communalism to thrive in the state. The in-house note of the CPI(M) assumes significance in the wake of ongoing debates over the recent ’narcotic and love jihad’ remark by Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, which was widely criticised by various political parties including the ruling party.
The CPI(M) and the opposition Congress had objected to the controversial remark, while the BJP came out in support of Bishop, saying that ’love and narcotic jihad’ is a reality. Kallarangatt had said recently that Christian girls were falling prey to the alleged love and narcotic jihad in Kerala and wherever arms cannot be used, extremists were using such methods to destroy the youth.