Orissa: Understanding the root causes of Kandhamal violence

Following is an update from Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, SVD of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Diocese on the situation of displaced Christians in refugee camps in and outside Orissa. The Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar comprises the civil districts of Cuttack, Phulbani (Kandhamal) and Puri in the state of Orissa.
Human Rights Intervention
A net work of Civil Society organizations, academicians, and professionals has been formed under the banner “Orissa Human Rights Protection campaign” (OHRPC). So far they have initiated twelve interventions creating awareness among the general public and leaders of both communities.
Documentation
Religious sisters are profiling the life stories of the martyrs of Kandhamal. They gather information about the victims and their experience. They guide the national and international journalists. Till now about 10 international NGOs have come to gather information from the field directly.
Understanding the root causes
It will not be right to state that all non-Christians and all tribals are engaged in the persecution. A number of non-Christian sisters and brothers both from Panos and Kondhs have supported and have given protection to Christian sisters and brothers, largely in a hidden manner. The fact of the matter is that not only the dalit Christians but most of the non-Christian dalits and Kondhs (tribals) live in utter poverty. The state has failed them. Unfortunately in the recent past, a larger number of simple and gullible non-Christian tribals have been systematically poisoned by the Hintutva forces with the active participation of the local trading community, who have come from outside the district and state. The tribals are made to believe that they are Hindus, which is not true at all. Ironically the people of the soil, both the Panos and Kondhs are alienated from the ownership of Kandhamal and the trading class has taken control over the socio-economic and political life of Kandhamal. These traders could not digest the growth of the dalit Christians and so they turned the non-Christians, especially the tribals against the Christians. Apparently it looks that the attack is on Christians by the Hindus. It is only one part of the story. Deeper analysis shows that the Hindutva groups like RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini would like to eliminate both the dalits and tribals irrespective of religion and plan to establish `Hindu Rashtra in Kandhamal and Orissa’. The challenge before all of us is to unite all the Panos, Kondhs and other marginalized communities in Kandhamal based on gospel values.
The real enemy is hidden but well organized and the state, instead of protecting and promoting the rights of the citizens, overtly and covertly supports the Sangh Parivar.
We need to expose them and challenge them. We need to defeat them politically and ideologically. It is not an easy task. I am happy to say that some attempts have been made by the archdiocese to bring together various leaders of the Panos and Kondhs cutting across religions, to make them understand the larger fascist strategy of the hindutva forces. The response so far is good. I believe that these are some hopeful signs.
http://www.indiancatholic.in/news/storydetails.php/11394-1-3-Christians\ -continue-to-be-harassed-in-Orissa

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One response to “Orissa: Understanding the root causes of Kandhamal violence

  1. It is not a easy task to united them. But if we try to teach the children and the youths About the unit which is working together for the economic, intellectual ,social and educational devlopment. And it may protect some kind of violence. For the coming generations.

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