Sunday 2 October 2016

Cultural islands

Anchukandom was talking about the damage done to the statue of Don Bosco in Gauhati last year. A well-known writer and thinker had offered an interesting comment: this would never have happened to any of the well-known Protestant Christians - because all of them have contributed significantly to the preservation of the Assamese language and culture. You Salesians have been running schools, increasingly now for the rich, and you are not seen as having a cultural connection. That is why it was easy to damage the statue of your founder.

I recalled Varghese Alengadan's study of the various incidents in which Christian institutions had been attacked some years ago. In every case, he said, somehow we had given cause: either because of arrogance, or because of lack of cultural sensitivity, or simply because we had remain a cultural island in the midst of the people, with little connection to them. 

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