Speak to us, not for us: students respond to media coverage of the St Xavier’s letter

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

On April 21st, 2014, Dr. Frazer Mascarenhas, S.J., Principal of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, posted a letter on the college’s official website. In it, Fr. Mascarenhas, who also teaches a course in Anthropology of Development, dissected the “Gujarat model of development”. He warned against the dangers posed by an “alliance of corporate capital and communal forces coming to power”, and stressing the importance of a strong welfare state, ended by informing students to “choose well.”

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, claiming this was “an attempt to influence the minds of students”, and that it “violated the Model Code of Conduct.” A simultaneous campaign on electronic and social media alleged Fr. Mascarenhas had overstepped his authority. Unfortunately, all this is being said on behalf of students of St Xavier’s, without considering their views on the same.

While we as alumni and…

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