Chennai: Bengaluru Archbishop Peter Machado has come clear of the controversy surrounding Christian schools mandating lessons on Bible to students.
Machado said that he is "hurt" by this insinuation. "We can say bravely that no student of other religion has become Christian in our school," he added.
He clarified that non-Christian students are not required to read Bible and there are no Bible instructions for them. Rev. Dr. Peter Machado's statement comes after the Karnataka government issued a show-cause notice to Clarence High School in Bengaluru over its decision mandating Bible lessons to students.
Fresh controversy erupted in the communally-charged Karnataka on April 25, after Clarence High School asked parents to sign an undertaking seeking their non-objection to their wards carrying Bible to the school. The issue was soon weaponised by the Hindu right-wing groups calling for an inquiry.
Following the tensions, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) wrote to the Bengaluru district commissioner and the Karnataka government issued a show-cause notice to which the school needs to respond within seven days.
However, the BJP-led Karnataka government plans to introduce Bhagavad Gita teachings to moral science classes in Karnataka. Defending the move, Education Minister BC Nagesh said not to mix Bible and Bhagavad Gita as unlike the former, the latter doesn't talk about religious practices and prayers, but it teaches morals to the students. He said the Gita "is above all".