Kolkata Plans Solidarity Action for Orissa Riot Victims

The Religious (CRI), the Catholic Media association (SIGNIS) and India’s oldest Catholic lay association (CAB) of Calcutta archdiocese have initiated a number of steps to express solidarity with the victims of dastardly crimes in Orissa and elsewhere in India. Salesian Archbishop Lucas Sircar of Calcutta has endorsed the following action plan spread out in October-November.

1. An Audio Visual (AV) presentation has been compiled by SIGNIS West Bengal, based entirely on media reports. This will help us understand better, the chain of events that originated in Kandhamal, Orissa on 23 August 2008 that spread to five more states and is still continuing today.  This 20 minutes AV presentation may be screened during all major Sunday masses in October, preferably after the penitential rite. The homily may be suitably modified to reflect on the violence and to formulate a Christian response to the same, bearing in mind “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. For screening in your parish please call Sunil Lucas (SIGNIS) 98300 23564, or Alexander Anthony (CAB) 98310 12962.

 

2. Continuous adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in all parishes on Sunday 26 October 2008 from 8 AM to 8 PM.

3. The same day (Sunday 26 Oct) shall be observed as a Day of Prayer and Fast in all the parishes. You could encourage the laity and the communities in your parish to turn to the power of the Blessed Sacrament to restore peace in the hate filled regions of the country. The various parish groups like SVP, Legion of Mary, Parish Council, Youth groups, etc may also be motivated to participate in large numbers to express solidarity with the unfortunate victims of this senseless violence. The proceeds from the fast could be forwarded to Archbishop House to be sent for the grieving families in Orissa. For further details please call Fr. Reginald Fernandes (SKC) 98300 29752, Sr. Vianey (SCCG) 64569069 or Sr. Celine Anthony (FMM)

 

4. Relay Fast led by Bishops at the Metro Corridor, from 8 am Friday 07.11.08 to 5 pm, Sunday 09.11.08. The purpose of this public demonstration of solidarity with our suffering brethren is to reassure them that their leaders are resolutely with them in their hour of crisis. We are trying to ensure participation of as many Bishops as possible and other Christian denominations are also lending their support to this endeavour. The active support of our own organisations and groups like CAB/ CRS /DBDOC/ SKC/ ABCD/ CTG/ AFJ/ etc is solicited. Please make it a point to personally lead your flock to the venue on all 3 days so that large turnout may force the powers that be to notice and take necessary action. CRI West Bengal will be spearheading this effort and their president Fr George Pattery sj will be the convenor for this event assisted by Mr Sunil Lucas (SIGNIS) 98300 23564 and Fr Reginald Fernandes (SKC) 98300 29752. Any assistance / cooperation extended to them will be highly appreciated.

 

5. Human Chain on 09.11.08, the last day of the Relay Fast, from 5.00 pm to 5.10 pm starting from the fast site stretching as far as possible. As we join hands with one another let us pause for a moment and remember the sufferings of those innocent victims and pledge to ensure that another Kandhamal never happens again. We need to create a mass movement of all right thinking people to stand up and condemn mob attacks. All those who are not near the fast site will gather near parishes or schools and join hands to form a human chain for 10 minutes.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Kolkata Plans Solidarity Action for Orissa Riot Victims

  1. shivaji choudhury

    the christen insurgents/terrorist are killing indians (non christens)in the name of GOD,in nagaland,tripura,mizoram,where christen are more than 50%.non christens not safe in nagaland,mizoram,magalaya.
    these christen insugents wants indenendance from INDIA.they are getting arms,ammunation,training from pakistan and china.
    we must condemn all types of killing in name GOD.
    church or christen never condemn these killing,WHY.

  2. Gaston Roberge

    I wholeheartedly support the plan. I will join in prayer from Montreal.
    A suggestion: has the political aspect of the persecution been sufficiently grasped and commented upon?
    Gaston Roberge SJ

  3. G. Pattery

    It is too simplistic and reductionist to claim that all that happens in the N.East is in the name of God or of Christianity. This is a mischievous way of interpreting everything in the name of God and thus using God/religion for one’s political end. There are ethnic, nationalistic and developmental issues in the N. East which have to be addressed. Similarly nationalism is an ‘imagined construction’; it does not contain all that one thinks about culture, religion and development. More urgent issue is to learn to look people as humn beings primarily and deal with them in dignity and respect, no matter which nation, religion, or culture they belong to. The caste prejudices in India is worse than any Talibanism, and terrorism. That inhuman monster makes religion a mockery. G. Pattery, Kolkata

  4. Dr. Paul

    Shivaji Choudhury draws unfounded and sweeping comments… about God, religion, people and politics.
    We have to condemn violence.
    Violence has no religion and no God.
    It is always the innocent people who are always the victims of violence.
    We must condemn humans killing humans.

  5. Sunil Lucas

    The christians condemn violence in all forms. Bomb attacks and Mob attacks in the same breath.
    We condemn the killing of the Swami just as we comdemn the killing of many other innocents who had nothing to do with the incident. Mr Choudhury are you attempting to justify the burning alive of Rajni Majhi and the gang rape of a nun by talking about insurgeny elsewhere? If so I feel sorry for you and your kind.

  6. Mathew C Paul

    I am surprised to see Shivaji Chowdhury’s comment about the northeast. Has he visited and stayed with any of the people of northeast to gain a knowledge into their ways. Being in the northeast for the past 43 years, I would like to make a few statements.
    1) The troubles by the so called insurgents in north-east has no religious basis. If christians are killing in Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya, what about the rest of the states: Manipur has close to 28 insurgent groups and why are they killing innocent people? What about the ULFA or any other group in Assam? Countless innocent lives are lost! Or take any other state!
    2) So the problem is purely political in nature. If there is violence, New Delhi will pay some attention. If there is a peaceful rfequest, nothing is done! Let me demonstrate the case of one tribe (99% of whose members follow still their traditional religion). The misings. They are about 10 lakhs, the second largest single tribe in Assam. How come their villages do not have electricity, road communication, water – nay lacks the basic minimum facilities, when the same is available in the next non-mising village? The only reason I find it is that “They are a very peace-loving people.”
    3) The recent flare-up in lower Assam is again has nothing to do with religion! When there is a fear that your home is going tobe over run by someone else, people are tense! Unfortunately in India there are sufficient number of uneducated people, who are just toys in the hands of people with vested interests.
    4) The people of northeast are the most hospitable, and strange to say, peace loving people. But unemployment and neglect has made some youngsters to take up violence to draw attention.
    5) For those of you who are not familiar with the north-east, let me just give you a single example. Tea is produced in Assam. But the vast amount of it is auctioned at Kolkata, thus the Assam state is deprived of huge revenue! Another: Till Numaligarh came up, all the oil from Assam was refined at Siliguri!
    All are welcome to northeast to look at the whole picture with disinterested eyes and draw your own conclusion.

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