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St Xavier's College principal criticises 'Gujarat model' in letter to students

The principal of Mumbai's premier institution St Xavier's College has sent out e-mails to nearly 3,000 students criticising Narendra Modi's 'Gujarat Model' of development. 

The Gujarat model is the one, which is being used by the NDA – the BJP and its alliance parties – to seek vote.

Father Frazer Mascarenhas
Father Frazer Mascarenhas

Father Frazer Mascarenhas, Principal, St Xavier's College, has sent out a mail to his students and even posted the mail on the college website that reads, "All the Human Development Index indicators and the cultural polarization of the population show that Gujarat has had a terrible experience in the last 10 years."

Father Mascarenhas, in his post, acknowledges the Congress's Food Security and Rojgar Yojana schemes. He says, "As opposed to this, efforts like the Rojgar Yojana and the Food Security Act have been called "election sops". However, some of our best social scientists like Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze have supported these as necessary in the emergency economic situation the country and the world is facing."

Not only this, but he goes a step further and asks his students not to support leaders who are a threat to secular fabric of India. "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."

Asking his students to 'Father Mascarenhas has even suggested the kind of leaders his students should support. He says in the mail, "Support for people who pledge to work to take Human Development Indicators higher and who commit themselves to a pluralistic culture in diverse India – this is the hope for the future."

When asked why he had sent out such a mail during elections, the principal of the south Mumbai college said, "I have given some considerations for evaluating the (Gujarat) model. And I have also talked about other models, like the Congress' central government and type of application of responsibility for protecting environment. I am trying to be as impartial as possible; it is my responsibility to encourage my students to vote. 'Gujarat Model' is being discussed in every media as a successful model and I am throwing light on what I think, which also needs to be looked at. If Gujarat model is successful then have a look at education or tribal rights."

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13 Comments

  • OneIndia_222-Apr-2014

    hidden agenda of christian missionary? Mr Principal have you been to Gujarat before and after Modi? Better you stick to school and don't be involved in politics and don't influence others just because you don't like Modi.

  • Andy23-Apr-2014

    The timing of this is so questionable of the motives and the actual source. It is disappointing to see such biased views from the premier of a respected college. No model can be perfect but the Gujarat model as I've personally seen on the ground is a pretty effective one.

  • sathyasnehi23-Apr-2014

    What’s wrong in his observations? No right minded, educated person would agree with what saffron brigade touts as Gujarat Model or Modi model of so-called development. Crony capitalism and nepotism is what they call development. One has to just visit Gujarat and get a first-hand experience of the state before getting into polemics. Speak to the common man in the state that lives in the bottom of the pyramid for generations. Ask the religious minorities in the State and you will get the true pict

  • Praveen23-Apr-2014

    I am all for secularism. Does that mean we start taxing all religious bodies in this country? Cannot talk about being secular in the same breath as asking to maintain these taxes.

  • Funky23-Apr-2014

    Mr OneIndia you stick to your Job and don't interfere in others freedom of speech. Thousands of Killing and rape cannot be model state or City. Just come out of you communal thoughts and see the fact.

  • CHANDRAMOULI N.V23-Apr-2014

    It is really shocking to see a noted educationist write this mail. What is clearly inappropriate is the timing and forum. Although there can be no bar on expressing one's views and analysis, using the forum he did is the issue. Also his taking refuge in the views of Amartya Sen and Jean Dreaze whose ideological underpinnig is publicly known, probably gives away his leanings. Very disappointing development.

  • jay emm sahai23-Apr-2014

    It is a great shame that a college principal is trying to influence his students with his political agenda. The college authorities should take disciplinary action against this man. How on earth parents can choose Xaviers college where students are being indoctrinated political venom. He is very nearly aroused communal passion. It is like saying do not vote BJP because it has Hindu support.

  • jay emm sahai23-Apr-2014

    Shame on you Mr. Mascarenhas. Not expected from a college principal.

  • jaibharat23-Apr-2014

    God, forgive these ignorant fools (Principal), who does not know what he is doing. He is supporting corrupt and communal goverments of UPA.

  • B.T.Desai23-Apr-2014

    Mr. Principal, I totally agree with the first comment on your "advice'" to your students. How can you try to politically influence your students? That is something against educational ethics, isn't it? Does your Christian mission urge you to do that? Surely, your obligations as Principal are more than your missionary duties! Think about that for a moment, Mr. Mascrenhas.

  • arsmith23-Apr-2014

    If BJP thinks what Fr Frazer had written is wrong they have every right to come out with a counter instead of that if they want to shout or threaten people down it only proves that its another fascist party which never learned and wants to impose there will on others. We already had 1500 years of oppression based on caste and any free thinking person will never allow it to happen again

  • anil sharma23-Apr-2014

    Should respect to every body views in the indian democracy instead of blaming or non tolerable reaction. I want AAP for change in politics and policies according to people demand instead of throwing from AC room offices.

  • Steph23-Apr-2014

    St. Xavier's College is not just a 'school'. There is a reason why there is so much dissent against Modi. Some people may be fooled by his claims of development and secularism. Thank you Fr. Frazer, for lending all the others your voice. EVERYONE has to be involved in the future of our nation - students, teachers, Hindus, Catholics, Muslims. Choosing any form of development over secularism will be disastrous. And for the record, I'm not a Congress supporter nor a missionary.

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