We, the Christian Social Activists, Theologians, Academics, Church Lay-leaders and priests, etc., beg to differ from Official Church Leaders, including the NCCI* & the CBCI** ( Please see Annexure II) on their position on and attitude towards Sri Narendra Modi, newly elected Prime Minister of the BJP-led NDA.
While we have no problems with the Official Church Leaders in congratulating Sri Modi on becoming the Prime Minister of India, we have serious reservations and objections on their assessment of the so-called Gujarat Model of Development, and their expectations from Sri Modi to build a just-India and a secular-India, based on such a Development Model.
We also realize that in making such public statements, the Official Church leaders/organisations are misleading the public in general, and the BJP-led NDA Government leaders in particular, about representing the voices of Christians as a whole. Such opinions and views expressed by the Official Church Leaders/Organisations have not taken into consideration the voices of dissent and democracy within the Churches and their various bodies which do not subscribe to their position on Sri Modi and BJP-led NDA Government, on serious ideological and theological considerations.
We realize that the majority of the Official Church leadership has been carried away by the myth of Development Model of Gujarat created mostly by media, without referring to the stark human reality of Gujarat which totally negates the tall claims of the campaign carried out by the corporate world projecting Gujarat as a Model of Development. A few facts separated from myths would bring home the point, as detailed in the Annexure here.
Against the backdrop of the facts of ground-level reality of human development in Gujarat, it would be naïve to expect that Modi-led Government at the Centre would pursue the goals of the Welfare State as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Ironically, such doubts have also been expressed by Modi-supporters both within and outside the BJP-led NDA.
We also consider it to be either a naivety or ignorance of the Official Church Leaders to expect that the Modi-led NDA government with BJP in absolute majority would pursue the goals and practice the values of secularism as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Historical reality has established without doubt that BJP is fully under the control of Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS), which is out-and-out to pursue and realize the vision of a Hindu Rashtra, as projected in their ideological documents written by their founders. It is no secret that the election campaign for the 16th Lok Sabha was openly orchestrated by the RSS and its cadres, which see in Modi a hard-core Hindutva-vadi who would rule with an iron-fist to realize the vision of a Hindu Rashtra. In this regard, one cannot ignore the violent history of communal forces in India since Independence, more so the genocide in Gujarat under Sri Narendra Modi, (including recent incidents at Muzaffarpur in UP and Assam just prior to and during the elections), and rule out the inherent potentiality of its repeat under the autocratic control of State machinery by BJP.
We would like to raise our voices here and now to caution the Official Church Leaders and organisations to be wary of the bogey of development of a New India, and “good times ahead” under the leadership of Sri Modi. It is crystal clear that the BJP-led NDA Government would pursue the goals of globalization serving the interests of the Corporate World, by putting the natural and human resources into their hands for profit-making, privatization and liberalization at the cost of vast majority of marginalized masses being systematically and deliberately thrown out of the periphery of so-called development of capital, consumers and colonies. That too ruthlessly by an autocratic leadership with scant regard for the human rights and democratic values enshrined in the Indian Constitution!
We would also like to appeal to the Official Church leadership to discern the Kairos (the critical decisive time), and face the threats and challenges unitedly with other secular, socialist and democratic forces in the country, and call for a systematic analysis and interpretation of the current political developments arising out of the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. And, in turn, shape their responses based on values and principles of Christianity as laid down in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Rajendra K Sail, Dr. K C Abraham, Paul Siromoni, Bishop Dr A G Ninan, Philip Mathew, Shashi Sail , Dr. Satish D Gyan
Human Rights Defender, Chhattisgarh Theologian & Church Leader, Bangalore
Trainer, Counsellor & Church Leader, Chennai Founder of BUILD, Mumbai & Ecumenical Leader Communication Person, Bangalore
Woman Rights Activist, Chhattisgarh Theologian & Church Leader, Dehradun
We remain yours in Jesus Christ – the Liberator Lord, And in Service to the People, the Indian Citizens, June 5, 2014
Contact: Adv Rajendra K Sail, Shashi Krishi Farm, Tumgaon P.O. Mahasamund, Pin-code: 493445 (Chhattisgarh): India :
* NCCI : The National Council of Churches in India, an ecumenical forum of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches in the country
** CBCI: the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)