A Catholic priest and his followers were arrested for singing carols after a right-wing Hindu group allied to India’s government accused them of converting villagers into Christianity.

Premier Narendra Modi faces criticism for not stopping attacks on minority groups since coming to power in 2014.

The priest and 32 carol singers were flogged in a police station in Madhya Pradesh state, ruled by Modi’s party.

On Saturday, Rahul Gandhi attacked Modi as he formally became president of India’s main opposition Congress party.

Gandhi says, “The Congress took India into the 21st century but the prime minister today is taking us backwards, to a medieval past where people are butchered because of who they are. Beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat. This ugly violence shames us in the world. A country whose philosophy in history is born out of love and compassion is tarnished by such horror.”

Modi’s spokesman Izaz Ilmy batted for his boss even as media reported a Muslim woman elsewhere in India was forced to chant Hindu hymns during a surgery.

“We are a democratic, socialist secular democracy run under constitutional provisions under the rule of law and if this nation and its people are large enough, and mighty enough and savvy enough to elect the prime minister of their choice in a parliamentary system then the faith of a billion in a person like prime minister Modi, one as to give to him, “says Ilmy.

However, Modi-baiter Asish Khaitain from the rookie Aam Aadmi Party called the prime minister a real life terminator.

“Look at Modi’s track record of how he has played with institutional integrity. All academic institutions he has filled them with people without any credible academic background. Governors were sacked in a wholesale fashion. What is the discourse? The discourse is that the prime minister should be even appointing Supreme Court judges. It is the last bastion. Otherwise all other institutions in this country have been decimated in this country by Modi and we are looking like a banana republic.”

Indian Muslims and Christians are in no doubt they are already in a Hindu state. But many among them say they could be pushed that much, but not anymore.