This piece of writing is not to cause offense to anybody, nor a panegyric for somebody.
Rights activist Dr John Dayal
I have used the freedom of expression to offer my views to the Indian Church.
Regardless of denominational boundaries, John Dayal is undoubtedly a household name.
Recognized as an unusual gift from God, the indelible mark he has made on Indian Christian community is conspicuous everywhere – East, West, North and South.
How often India has read him in Newspapers and watched him on television on crucial issues pertaining to the minorities!
Be it the Gujarat carnage or the pogroms against Christians in Odisha, whether it is the individual ignominy or an ecclesial scandal, be it a legal battle or an aggressive frontal assault, major Christian groups have all sought his help to defend their cause.
He is not just a “prominent member of catholic community” as the renowned Journalist Javed Naqvi described him in Deccan Chronicle recently. He is perhaps the most sought-after stalwart and champion of suffering Christians in the country today who stays bonded with all sections of the community.
Indian Christian Community is sometimes baffled to see some obscure Christians occupy prominent places in Government Agencies and Commissions. It is indeed mind-boggling why a person of the stature and calibre of John Dayal has never made into those positions.
The community has fielded him to speak for those who have no voice and to fight for those trampled and denied of their rights. But it has perhaps never thought collectively of deploying him in high places of power to be able to bolster a beleaguered community he has served with so much of zeal and enthusiasm.
Like a stigmatized Karna in Mahabharata, totally divested of his supernatural shield and weapons, he fights his battle naturally.
Admittedly, John Dayal’s contribution to the victims of persecution has been immense. Though not placed in the corridors of power, he has served the community well and produced extra-ordinarily.
It would be interesting to witness how a man like him would perform when seated in the Upper House.
Some may argue, it is impossible to think of a motion such as this, certainly not under the new government. But John Dayal is not a new kid on the wall.
The Governments which had many Christians in places of authority in the past had never thought about sharing power with him. Except for a membership in the National Integration Council with no major role to play, he seems thrashed out of the arena.
It clearly calls for freedom from sectarian agendas. Those in political parties who have cherished a long time friendship with him now have to galvanize their good wishes into serious action. There can’t be a better time for Christian friendly states and constituencies to march on magnanimously considering the candidature of John Dayal.
Federations like CBCI, NCCI, EFI and other national bodies have to form and reform ways to impact the process of the government in the next few years, if not anon.
Those who know Dr. Dayal would concur he has the will, the determination, the passion, the prowess, the skill and dexterity.
Doesn’t he deserve a rich offering from the Indian Church before he hangs his boot to retire from active service?
Respectfully submitted by,
Bishop Joab Lohara
President, Free Methodist World Council