Under the guise of protecting India from Green Terror, we now have Saffron Terror, with the involvement of Hindu extremists alleged in the Malegaon blasts & the arrests of Sadhvi Pragya & her accomplices. We have encounter cops / retired militarymen, joining parties, like Shiv Sena, which have offered legal & other support to those arrested in the Malegaon blasts. Ex & serving defence persons, as well as defence training institutions (Bhosala) are being used to build-up forces. The Samajwadi & Bahujan Samaj parties have offered similar support / tickets / seats to Muslims, as in blasts (Batla House – Jamia Nagar) or in promoting the Haj pilgrimage.
Just as the Majority-Minority issue has the Congress & the BJP in a bind, so also the Marathi Manoos card has pitted the north & south Indians against the Maharashtrians. The Shiv Sena & Raj Thackeray’s MNS are falling over each other to claim the title of saviour of the Marathi Manoos. On this issue all Bihari politicians – Lalu, Nitish, Paswan… stood one to a man, while all Maharashtrian politicians did the same, soft pedaling on Raj and even backing him – in secret or openly. Whom do the Christians have to take-up their cause ? And will they all come together, as the others do, when their own are attacked ? Christians are a divided lot & unless come together in an activist organization, our state will worsen, as it has over the decades.
Reconversion & Demand for Reservations
Thousands are still in refugee camps, you & I would shudder at the thought of. The Orissa & other state governments talk of conversion by force or inducement, which are punishable. The re-conversions are under compulsion & widely publicized. The tribal converts to Christianity are now being forced to convert to Hinduism. In Western India, we have Narendra Maharaja doing it. Such re-conversions are illegal & comes under the purview of the anti-conversion law?
There is also pressure on Dalit Christians not to freely practise their faith & the government compels them to show themselves as Hindus or Buddhists, if they are to get official benefits. Christians, who share the same socio-cultural milieu as non-Christians, are being discriminated by the State on the basis of religion, if they are not granted Scheduled status. This again is nothing short of re-conversion by the Police State. In the given situation, wouldn’t we might all be forced to re-convert to Hinduism.
As our very own, Dr. Peter Rodriques says – its time to agitate & demand for Christian reservations in Jobs, Politics, Education, etc. We have enough of Government of India data to do so – NSSO & Survey Employment/Education statistics There is enough ground to take it up legally. In fact, in Maharashtra even the influential Marathas & Parsis are asking for quotas – and may well get it. We also need to forcefully demand that Christians be recognized by the government to get at least OBC status, beginning with the Dalit Christians, pending their case being decided – since its almost a Golden Century that the Church has taken-up their cause. Will some advocate take-up these issues ? The CSF is willing to assist.
UPA Still to Act. Anti-Establishment Vote?
Will some one tell us what the Government of India has done on the anti-Christian violence? It has laid the blame at the State Government’s door and said that the Union Government is helpless & reduced to issuing a dozen warnings! Is’nt it that the government in power, no matter whichever political party, takes Christians for granted ? If so, why not vote anti-establishment? The assembly elections are due in 5 states and Parliament elections are around in a few months. Is it not time for Christians to reconsider their position? Surely, if the Opposition comes to power, it would know that the minorities have voted for it. The Opposition need not be the BJP everywhere. It could be the Left, Bahujan Samaj or the Third Front. Alternatively changing governments, as happens in Kerala with the LDF / UDF or as in USA with the Democrats / Republicans, might help. And Christians will have a better deal, next time around, by God’s grace. Since that is the only reason, we are still around. Think about it.
Where is the Church? Has it met on this issue?
The Church’s response has been less than adequate. I doubt there has even been an all India level meeting of all church denominations – 3 Catholic Rites, CNI, CSI….including the Pentecostals & Evangelicals.
The existing Church structures are not equipped to face the situation at hand & will certainly not be able to handle the future. Its time Christians wake up to meet the challenges ahead by supporting / empowering the few Christian activists, we have in the community, who have been effective, in their protests, even with the limited means, at our disposal.
We need a NETWORK, with a CORPUS FUND to animate the community.
The Church in India is almost as old as Christianity itself – 2000 years – coming from Jesus’ apostle, St. Thomas and is responsible for a vast majority of the social services – in poverty-eradication, personality development, leadership, education, healthcare, rights, law, etc. Today, the non-Christians are way up ahead in all these areas and many more important ones, like politics, business & employment. We ‘educated’ or ‘treated’ or ’empowered’ many of our attackers. For instance, Vijendra, the son of Karnataka CM, Yediyurappa allegedly studied in St. Joseph’s College (1994-97) and we could give you a number of VIPs who have passed out of Christian institutions. The silence of the ‘non-Christian’ majority is deafening & frightening.
Why do you call yourself a Christian? National Convention / Synod?
But even worse – Where is the Christian leadership? Is’nt it time for serious introspection & action – Has the Church been able to act effectively? Our Catholic & Christian hierarchy, clergy & laity – charismatics, Evangelicals & Pentecostals – sophisticated & elite institutions – church councils & commissions – international contacts – community unions & sabhas – one-man armies…. All built-up by the common Christian – funded by Lazarus’ or widow’s mite, so to say – over centuries. What has been our response ?
Do we have a Disaster Management Plan for the future ? There is a feeling that the true Christian will not miss out, if any of these structures are not there – like the persecuted Church in China or places, where there is no freedom of religion eg. some Islamic nations. Imagine !
The north-east is Christian & we have tribal or women MPs too. Did they even speak-up or do something more than speak-up ? It is time we wake-up to the harsh realities & stop thinking in terms of migrating to Australia, Canada or the West. For not all of us can afford that luxury.
The CSF would like to promote National Convention / Synod in Mumbai & we urge you to send us details of Christian activists, volunteers, bureaucrats, professionals, businesspersons & those influential, whom the LORD has blessed.
If you don’t help, Christian activists will go back to their work or businesses & pay more attention to it. After all that will help us to some extent, in the face of anti-Christian attacks. And nothing can stop us from praying for all of Christianity. So its time we take a stand for community development, because as the Bible says, “if you are lukewarm, God will spew you out of His mouth.”
Do let us have your thoughts on the above – You can be sure, every word will be taken seriously.
Please be assured of our prayers for you & your loved ones. Requesting your prayers for us, our families & associates too – without which, it would not have been possible for us to do so much.
Your Servant in the Lord’s Service
Ln. Joseph Dias, MA (Eco), Ex-Special Executive Magistrate / SEO, Govt of Maharashtra
General Secretary, The CSF
+91 9769 55 56 57 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheques / DDs can be drawn in favour of The CSF and sent to our Regd Office.
Check out these links : http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/sep/22inter.htm and http://www.PetitionOnline.com/thecsf17/petition.html