Christmas: ‘Santa’ beaten in Gujarat; Kerala cops celebrate with kids

In Gujarat a man was beaten up for dressing up as Santa while in Kerala, children, who wore Santa Claus masks were offered sweets by the police officials.

In India this year, two types of Christmas were celebrated – one with hatred and the other with love and brotherhood.

Following are two stories from two states of India – Gujarat and Kerala. While one reported violence, the other reminded the true nature and spirit of Christmas.

On December 20, a man, dressed up as Santa Claus was beaten up by a Hindutva mob in a residential colony in Makarpura area, Vadodara in Gujarat.

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According to the police, the victim – Shashikant Dabhi – dressed up as Santa Claus and visited Makarpura area’s Avdhoot Society where a group of Christian families were celebrating. He went around distributing chocolates and wishing everybody Merry Christmas.

However, Dabhi was soon attacked and beaten by a group of people who warned of any such celebration reminding them it is a Hindu-dominated area. Four persons including a woman got injured.

Dhabi lodged a complaint against the attackers. Police said investigations are underway. While down south in Kerala, a group of children dressed up as Santa Claus cheerfully visited a police station, much to the amusement of the officers present there.

One of the children was curious to know where the jail was to which the officer filming the incident answered there is a lockup, no jail.

The video then shows jubilant children jumping and singing while a smiling police officer offers them sweets and chocolates.

In Srinagar, a group of Muslims dressed up s Santa Claus distributed sweets and exchanged greetings with traditional enthusiasm and religious fervour.

The group members said they came to the church to spread the message of communal harmony, brotherhood and peace.

“We did not want to let them (Christians) feel that they were isolated. This is a very small community. So, we came here to celebrate this festival with them,” a group member said.

While on the other hand,  right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) unit in Madhya Pradesh wrote a letter to school principals asking them not to make Hindu children Santa Claus during the celebration.

Letters were written to all school principals in Bhopal amid reports that students are being made Santa Claus in the Christmas celebrations in the school and they are also being asked to bring Christmas trees. “This is an attack on our Hindu culture, it is a conspiracy to inspire Hindu children to Christianity,” VHP’s letter read.

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