MUMBAI (CSF Report 2011) — Dr. Prof Ram Puniyani is the mentor of Plural India and an authority on Hindutva, having studied the saffron right wing brigade for decades said that the Hindutva affiliates had now clearly turned their attention to Christians, as they found the community to be soft targets, with little fear of retaliation. He said on going through the reports coming in from all over the country, the incidents were widespread and scattered (urban and rural), but more in the latter – Tribal, Adivasi, Mofusil and Backward and. Adivasi areas. It is here, where Christians have been rendering yeoman service (as few fear to tread), that the RSS affiliates like VHP, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Bajrang Dal etc have intensified their activities. And the Christians are helpless.
Dr. Prof Ram said that while Muslims have been on the firing line of RSS-Hindutva politics ever since even pre-partition days, the marked vicious attacks against Christians community initially came as a surprise to many. However, the ground for this was being prepared by the RSS affiliates, Swamis and godmen – Swami Aseemanand (in jail as bomb blast accused) in Dangs, Gujarat; followers of Asaram Bapu in Madhya Pradesh and Swami Laxmananand in Orissa and many of their ilk in almost every state of the country. He said that a State where the minorites are not safe, cannot be a thriving secular democracy, with tendencies to become a theocratic State or Hindu Rashtra, as is being sought to convert India into.
He pointed out that the activities of VHP-Bajrang Dal and Hindutva upstarts were intensified to frighten those Christians doing yeoman service in the field of health, education, etc. The attacks have been preceeded by a constant propaganda that these Christian missionaries are converting by force, fraud and allurement and so are a threat to Hinduism and the nation. But, the declining percentage of Christians in India as per the census figures – 2.60 in 1972, 2.44 in 1981, 2.44 in 1991 and 2.30 in 2001 – exposes this lie. He said that The CSF Report provided the much needed well documented evidence that not only is the saffron right wing brigade live and active, but also that it is thriving with great gusto. This is a threat to India as a nation and hence the need to wake-up, before it is too late.
Dr. Prof. Ram also referred to Wadhva Commission, appointed by NDA, where its report drew attention to the fact that there was no increase in the population of Christians in the area where Pastor Graham Stains was working and that neither was he working for conversions. ” Christianity is an age-old Indian religion, when disciples of Jesus, in 52 A.D – St Thomas, established churches on southern coast and St. Bartholomew, also around the same time came to the western coast, making Indian Christians go back over 2000 years, even before it came to the west “, he concluded.
Ms. Saumya Uma says Kids & Women worst affected
An independent consultant on gender and human rights issues, who played an integral part in the Tribunal on Orissa Anti-Christian Violence, described the plight of women and children, which was the same irrespective where the communal attack took place.
There is documentation to prove that there is at least one major attack on Christians every day, which makes it a minimum of 365 attacks, involving at least so many children, if not more. According to Saumya – The impact of communal violence on an unformed mind is indeed shattering and adverse in more than one ways. Children are often voiceless, defenseless and silent observers to the perpetration of such crimes, which affects them more psychologically, than physically. But, apart from this, other effects, include – deprivation of basic education, malnutrition even in refugee camps, fear and financial insecurity, parents fear sending children out, trafficking for child labour and abuse, separation and displacement, disease and injuries, post traumatic disorders, become revengeful and social misfits.
Ms. Saumya Uma also pointed out that the most vulnerable section of victims, after children is that of women as noticed in studies on gender violence in the anti-Christian violence. Nuns who are known for their celibacy, and sisters, like wives or daughters of pastors or community leaders, are especially targeted. Several cases have been recorded, where apart from the sexual abuse, such as rape and molestation, the victims face problems with their reproductive organs, suffer miscarriages/abortions, have issues during giving birth to children, freedom of movement restrictions, etc.
Ms. Saumya Uma said that the victims and their families could not resume their livelihood, due to social pressure and ostracism, much time being spent due in pursuing justice, suffering psychological traumas, non availability of women doctors & medical attention, inhuman state of refugee camps… ” The women often do not complain for fear of the allegation that it was not rape, but consensual sex on a regular basis and being susceptible to human trafficking, menial jobs, etc. Often women are targeted not for sexual gratification, but to heap humiliation on the males, who are putting up a fight “, she added