New Delhi: In Madhya Pradesh, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has issued a press note asking schools not to make Hindu children dress up as Santa Claus without their parents’ permission.
Undersigned by Jitendra Chauhan, provincial publicity head of the VHP in Bhopal, the press note issued Saturday said schools are asking students who “follow Sanatan Dharma” to dress up as Santa Claus and to bring a Christmas tree to school.
“This is an attack on Hindu culture. It is a conspiracy to influence Hindu children with Christianity, and is also a loss for the families from an economic point of view,” the note read.
India, said the note, is the “land of saints, not of Santa”.
Adding, “Is the school, by asking children to dress up as Santa, trying to develop admiration and faith towards Christianity?”
The note further declared that Hindu kids can dress up as “Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavir and Guru Govind (sic) Singh”. “They should become all of these, revolutionaries, great men, but not Santa Claus,” it added.
The VHP — founded in 1964 with an aim to “assimilate Hindu society, protect Hinduism and serve the society” – also said that it would initiate legal action against any school found forcing Hindu children to dress up as Santa Claus without the consent of the child’s parents or guardians.
A copy of this note has been circulated to all schools in the state, it added.
Speaking to ThePrint, Chauhan said that while the VHP was yet to receive any complaints from parents in this regard, the organization will stand with families who claim to have a problem with it.
“Schools have to take written permission from parents. Making children (dress up as) Santa Claus is the beginning of conversion, by influencing them. If any school or organisation wants to do it, we have no problem as long as they take permission from their (children’s) families.
“If any school is found violating this, then action will be taken. No one has complained so far. This is an attempt to create awareness because some people don’t understand,” he told ThePrint.
(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)
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