India: Forming Jesuits in Social Action

In May, 22 Indian Jesuits at various stages of formation met in Delhi for a 12-day social analysis course organised by Jesuits in Social Action (JESA) and the Indian Social Institute (ISI). ?As we pledge to build a society through a preferential option for the poor in our mission, we need to understand the social system in which we are operating,? says Sunny Jacobs SJ, one of the participants. Eminent scholars and social activists made presentations on the burning issues that confront India now, such as the caste system, the problems faced by Muslim women, and the emergence of Hindu nationalist forces. Participants learned of the process of ?saffronisation? in education, whereby Indian history is being revised so that a traditionally secular humanist curriculum is replaced with a partisan religious one that demonises religious minorities. Participants learned about India?s labour laws and the significance of the labour movement. They visited Ramlila Maidan where thousands of workers rallied together to commemorate May Day, and participated in the ?dharna?, or indefinite blockade, at Jantar Mantar to draw attention to the inaction of the Gujarat government about communal violence. [HL20907]