During this Christmas season, several Churches have been attacked. Miscreants had the audacity to vandalize schools for celebrating Christmas. On the pretext of religious conversions, the attack on Christians has become a daily affair. The Anti-Conversion Law has been proposed in the state only to harass the Christian minority community. Whenever elections are round the corner, politicians become anxious about Hindu Dharma. Their hate speeches pollute society much more than the air pollution in Delhi. While making allegations about religious conversions, an MP gives a call for the conversion of Pakistanis into Hinduism. And, he says all of this in the precincts of a religious mutt. The police who foist suo-motu cases against comedians seem to be enjoying these hate speeches.

It does not require any courage to form a group of rowdy elements and attack schools. In fact, only cowards indulge in such activities. The attacks reflect the frustration of the perpetrators who target the Christians having failed to match them in their service to the people – be it in education or health. The attackers seem to have problems not with the alleged conversions but with the service that the Christians carry out in India. Everyone knows that these services are reaching the Dalits and the downtrodden who have historically been deprived of education and health facilities. Upper castes did not even tolerate their physical proximity and did not allow them to touch community water sources. The entry of Muslims and Christians in the country slowly paved the way for these sections to get liberated from excruciating clutches of the caste system.

If Christians indulge in conversions through their services, the Sangh Parivar people should retain them through their services to the downtrodden and Dalits. Even if they didn’t do any service, they should own them up by treating them with dignity and equal social status. Neither will they do it, nor will they tolerate others do it. At stake here are the services rendered by Christians. If the provision of service is considered a crime in the eyes of a religion, how can it be accepted as a religion at all.

The economy is in tatters today. The government lacks in resources to provide for the basic needs of people. At the same time, the government is spending huge amounts for the construction of temples, statues, and cowsheds. This is not benefitting the people in any way. The money can be spent meaningfully for meeting the needs of the poor. The government should also encourage religious organizations of all hues to spend money on the poor. Instead, the government is harassing religious organizations that are engaged in the service of the poor. On the pretext of cow protection, the government sacrificed farmers interests. A situation has now been created where the government is forced to spend lakhs of rupees on sheltering the barren cows at a time when it has no funds to spend for the education and health sector. In such a situation, if a religion/community comes forward to help the poor, it is laudable. In fact, all religions should compete with each other in providing such services. If Churches who have been rendering yeoman’s service from the time of the British are indeed converting people by luring them, Hindus would have been reduced to a minority long ago. How is it that the Hindu religion is in danger now when the BJP is in power, something which did not happen even when the British ruled the country?

It is however true that the Hindu religion is in danger today but not in the way that these elements are projecting. The Hindu religion that was led by saints and noblemen such as Swami Vivekananda, Narayana Guru, Mahatma Gandhi has been captured by rowdies, goondas, suspected terrorists, and politicians. Someone who gives a call for mass rape identifies himself as a Hindu Yogi. Those who are facing criminal cases call themselves as protectors of Hinduism and indulge in all kinds of criminal activities but take protection under the garb of Hinduism. It is because of such elements that the Hinduism is truly in danger. True spiritual leaders should think of how to protect Hindu religion from such dangerous forces.

Similarly, banks in this country are in danger. So are government institutions. The country’s borders are in danger. The education system is in danger. The financial system is in danger. Politicians should discuss how to protect these institutions. Otherwise, India will find itself in a sorry state. We must first protect the country. Later we can discuss how to protect religions.

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New Delhi, Jun 12: Sixty-three cases of students using unfair means were reported in NEET-UG out of whom 23 have been debarred for varying periods, NTA officials said Wednesday, but reiterated the sanctity of the medical entrance exam hasn't been compromised and there has been no paper leak.

The result of the remaining 40 candidates who were found using unfair means have been withheld, NTA DG Subodh Kumar Singh told PTI.

"A committee was constituted consisting of three eminent experts in field of examination and academics to put forward different types of cases reported such as impersonation, cheating and tampering with OMR sheet," NTA DG Subodh Kumar Singh told PTI.

"On recommendations of the panel, 12 candidates were debarred from taking the exam for three years, nine candidates debarred for two years and two candidate for one year each. The result of remaining candidates has been withheld. The panel had given recommendations for each case," Singh added.

The total number of cases of usage of unfair means was 63, he said.

The agency is under criticism amid allegations of irregularities and inflation of marks in the crucial medical entrance exam.

The matter has also reached the top court which said on Tuesday the sanctity of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG), 2024 has been affected and sought responses from the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) on another plea seeking holding of the examination afresh on grounds of alleged question paper leak and other malpractices.

Amid fire from protesting students and opposition parties, the Education Ministry had last week set up a four-member panel to review the grace marks awarded to 1,563 students to compensate them for loss of time due to delay in starting examination at certain centres.

"The panel is yet to submit its report. Depending upon the panel's recommendations, either a retest will be conducted for nearly 1,600 students or an alternate mechanism may be devised to ensure no candidate faces any disadvantage," he said.

Asked about allegations of marks inflation due to which 67 candidates have bagged top rank, Singh said, out of 67 candidates who got 720 out of 720 marks, 44 candidates received marks on account of revision of answer key of physics and 6 on account of loss of time.

"Only two candidates who got grace marks have received 718 and 719 marks," he clarified.