Earlier this year, Dr Frazer Mascarenhas S.J., principal of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, sent an e-mail to his students. It was no ordinary mail. The general elections were just round the corner and there was a looming Modi wave. The contents of the letter struck a note of caution. It had the tone of a father speaking to his children asking them not to be swept away. Mascarenhas cautioned his wards to think and choose well before casting their votes. “So what lessons does a reflection on the approaching elections teach us? The prospect of an alliance of corporate capital and communal forces coming to power constitutes a real threat to the future of our secular democracy,” Fr Mascarenhas wrote. The mail, uploaded on the college website, raised eyebrows not only in the academic community but also outside it. Many thought Mascarenhas was interfering in what was a democratic/political exercise. As Christians, missionaries, conversions, church-run institutions and Christmas itself face the pressure under the Modi sarkar, Fr Mascarenhas spoke to Anuradha Raman. Excerpts:
The Centre’s decided to observe December 25 as Good Governance Day. What are your concerns?