India Elections: Should Christians remain helpless?

This is my reflection on the current scenario in Kerala. I believe that the most visible enemy of our country is the Sangh organizations with their agenda of making India a Hindu Rashtra. I think many of the Church leaders in Kerala are grappling with total confusion at this hour. They are still unable to understand the grave situation of the danger posed by the Hindutva forces in India.
I can understand this very well because of many perceived reasons on their part. Among them perhaps the hierarchy thinks that the church in Kerala is quite influential and powerful in all realms of life. Secondly Sangh Parivar has not made a large scale penetration in the social life of Kerala as it has done in many of the northern states or in Karnataka in the South.
Thirdly the left movements appear to be quite strong and `anti-religious’ in appearance. Therefore the church considers them as the principal enemy. There could be many other reasons but I believe that Kerala is not an isolated state outside the larger polity of the nation. And therefore any isolated analysis will be a misplaced analysis.
I hail from Kerala’s Kannur District. Formarly it was known as Canannore. Today in Kerala and outside Kannur has earned a very bad name. People are scared of the large scale violence that has been there for the last 25 years. The church in Kerala, like some opposition parties do, simply blames the Left for the violence and killings. They miserably failed to understand the hidden agenda of the Sangh Parivar in promoting violence in Kerala, and also in Kannur in particular to woe as many Hindus to their side to expand their bastion.
It is good to understand that the three major enemies of the Hindutva are: first, the Communists(the Left), Second the Semetic religions (Islam and Christianity) and third, the Dalit movements. It is spelt out very well in the book Hindutva by Savarkar. Hindutva doesnot accept the secular and democratic constitution of India. Instead they work for a Hindu Rashtra, where Muslims and Christians are merely second class citizens. Here we must not forget the attempt by the BJP government to constitute a Constitutional review commission to make it that our constitution has some thing wrong.
This was an attempt to gauge the mood of the people on the one hand and on the other to create confusion in the minds of the people. To a great extent they have succeeded in that direction. But any attempt from their part now has to be within the frame work of the existing Indian Constitution. In order to change it according to their vision they need to get an absolute majority on their own. Towards that direction they are moving with the formation of NDA to get acceptance all over. Even though they got set back in the last general election they have expanded to certain new pockets like Karnataka.
The political onslaught of the Sangh Parivar was arrested mainly then by the Left and the Dalit Political movements and not the Church in India. The Left parties have done an unimaginable sacrifice in supporting their principle enemy, the Congress, to check the communal forces marching ahead with their hidden agenda.
Now coming back to Kannur violence out of curiosity I attempted to know what exactly the reason for the violence and I found very many startling revelations. Among them first of all why Kannur was the epicenter of violence in Kerala was my enquiry. Kannur is in the North of Kerala closer to Karnataka. It is the cradle of Left movements in Kerala and perhaps in India itself. It is religiously one of the most Hindu populated districts of Kerala. There are certain pockets where Muslims and Christians have sizable number, but they are nowhere near Hindu population.
Christians and Muslims in Kannur are well settled and owing to their hard work are well off. Christians and Muslims do not form the Sangh Paivar. Christians and Muslims do not support the Communists either. Generally the Hindus are the supporters of the Left in Kerala and Kannur in particular. The Sangh Parivar with its well oiled research institutions and organizational skills understood that in order to expand their basis in Kerala they need to destroy the Communists and woe those Hindus to their side. They know very well that Christians and Muslims cannot be their base. Since Communists are cadre party it will retaliate any assault on them by any one especially the Communal religious fundamentalists.
Currently the violence is limited to Thalasseri, Panur, Koothuparamba and Kannur areas. Also the violence is between the Sangh Parivar and the Communists. This does not mean that the RSS will not attack the Christians or the Muslims in the future; in fact the current violence is to reduce the power of the communists to prepare a larger violence against Muslims and Hindus. They will not say it now, because Christians and Muslims are speaking their language right now and blames the Left for the violence. In fact, I am afraid after seeing the magnitude of violence in Orissa against the Christians, many church leaders are playing in the hands of the RSS by accusing, blaming and unnecessarily opposing the Left without knowing the vicious agenda of the Sangh. Violence from any quarter is unacceptable for us but one cannot simply blind to the larger agenda of the Sangh Parivar.
Imagine the day when there is no opposition from the left against the Sangh in Kannur or in Kerala what would be the situation of the Church in Kerala? Suppose the Communists in Kerala becomes the followers of the Sangh what would be the condition of the Christians in Kannur? (by opposing the Left for everything what we are doing is reducing the power of the Left against the Sangh and thowing ourselves in the hands of the Sangh). Does that mean that the RSS’s enemy is only Communists? The weakening of communists in Kerala will be detrimental to the Church in Kerala. With the arrival of Lotus and Khakhi in Karnataka one can expect more violence as a strategy of the Sangh in its adjacent districts of Kerala. This does not mean that the Church must simply support the Left. This only suggests that the larger agenda of the Sangh has to be studied and accordingly we must make our strategies. Where we need to oppose the policies of the Left we need to dialogue and correct them. After all Left has no hidden agenda of changing the secular constitution at any point of time. It is because of the Constitution we are enjoying all the privileges now. If that is no more we have no voice at all, however well off we are.
I remember one of the Central government senior officer told me in the background of Orissa that, no one is going to support Christians except the Constitution. If the court also fails, Christians remain helpless!
But the Sangh has and when it expanses more it gain more political acceptance and they are forming long term policies to make India a Hindu Rashtra. Gujarat, Karnataka, M.P., Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and many other states are ready to go their way. The Sangh is on the one hand talking of hard-Hindutva and on the other projects developmental plank to appeal to all sections of the Hindu society. We need to see this larger picture and join hands with secular organizations.
Wherever they are strong we need to strengthen them further. In Kannur we need to be realistic to support secular parties who can really check the Sangh at this hour otherwise there will come a day when no one will be there to support us in our hour of need. Congress and Communists are secular but communists are stronger than the Congress is evident from the growth of the Sangh where once Congress was the one and only power for decades. We should have better understanding of the Sangh agenda and act accordingly.
It is always wise to choose the lesser evil. Is it not a must to come together all the three `enemies’ of the Hindutva together? But who hears?
By Fr Sunny Jacob SJ, Published : March 19 2009


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