Lay leaders differ from official Church leaders on Narendra Modi

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.
S. No.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Names
Rajendra K Sail, Dr. K C Abraham, Paul Siromoni, Bishop Dr A G Ninan, Philip Mathew, Shashi Sail , Dr. Satish D Gyan

Designation
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 :
E-mail: rajendrasail@gmail.com
* 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)

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Filed under Laiy and church leaders differ on Modi, Narendra Modi

3 responses to “Lay leaders differ from official Church leaders on Narendra Modi

  1. A FEW FACTS & MYTHS ABOUT GUJRAT MODEL OF DEVELOPMENT
    (Based on an in-depth analysis by HEMANTKUMAR SHAH, a leading economist in Gujarat, which have neither been refuted nor challenged)

    A- According to the Planning Commission’s National Human Development Report of 2001, Gujarat ranked 10th among all states. Its rank is 11th, according to the India Human Development Report of 2011. Nowhere does Gujarat stand first in the indices of human development. Itsrank is 26th in the category of undernourished women and children.
    In 1999, there were 26.19 lakh BPL families. At present the number stands at 40 lakh according to the government advertisement on Mukhyamantri Amritam (MA) Yojana aired on almost all FM channels in Gujarat during last December and January.

    B- According to the BJP manifesto for the assembly elections in December 2012, 50 lakh families were to be provided affordable and decent housing. This would mean that 2.5 crore people (43 per cent) live in poverty because good housing is one of the indicators for the measurement of poverty. According to the UNDP criteria of Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI-2010), Gujarat has 41.5 per cent people in poverty. Gujarat ranks 8th in terms of poverty among 20 Indian states according to the research study made by Oxford Human Development Initiative in 2011.

    C- There are around 16 lakh educated unemployed youth in Gujarat according to the state government’s publication ~ Socio-Economic Review, 2012-13. Recently, 8.8 lakh applications were filed with the government for the post of talatis i.e. secretary of the village panchayat. The figures point to rampant unemployment. The promise to generate jobs for 1.02 crore people was made during the first five Vibrant Gujarat summits. But till March 2012, only 2.99 lakh jobs were generated from the investment made till that time. Another 2.70 lakh jobs were to be generated from the rest of the investment. Thus, a total of only 5.69 lakh jobs
    were generated from the industrial investment that was promised during these summits.

    D- There has been a 7.75-time increase in VAT revenue, a 2.5-time increase in electricity duty and a 6.5-time increase in overall tax revenue of the state government. And yet the debt burden of the government has gone up from Rs 26,000 crore to Rs 1,46,000 crore. The net per capita debt burden is Rs 26,000, the highest in India. And the reason is complete mismanagement of the state government’s finances.

    E- There are 47,000 vacancies of teachers in primary and secondary schools and around 5,000 vacancies in colleges and universities. Universities are being run without regular appointments of Vice-Chancellors for months together. All the 30 universities, opened in Gujarat over the past 12 years, are in the private sector or are being run on a self-finance basis. Many universities run on only paper or with just 100 or 200 students, e.g. Children’s University and Indian Institute of Teachers’ Education at Gandhinagar. The dropout ratio after 5th standard is 29.5 per cent and before 10th standard it is 43 per cent.

    F- Forty-three per cent of children in the below-5 category are undernourished. Gujarat has 47 per cent undernourished women. And still the state has a wide gap of anganwadis. It requires 72,000 anganwadis, but makes do with 54,000. The state does not have enough primary health centres and community health centres.
    The Sixth Pay Commission Report has not been fully implemented. The arrears were paid in installments. Professors of colleges and universities are yet to get their arrears. More than 4.5 lakh employees are appointed on a contractual basis. The state government went to the Supreme Court against the judgment of the High Court which directed regular appointment to these employees. The police was allowed to form a trade union, in complete violation of constitutional provisions.

    G- Around 6000 children have been reported missing over the past five years. In many cases, those who kill children are not arrested; as often as not, the accused are protected by their political mentors in Gandhinagar. More than 11,000 cases of atrocities against women have been registered in the last five years, let alone the unregistered crimes. More than 5,500 farmers have committed suicide and the police have been instructed not to register the cases as suicide. Ahmedabad and Surat have the dubious distinction of having recorded the country’s highest crime rate.

    These facts and figures do not share the special prejudicial subsidies given to the giant industrial houses and corporate sector by Gujarat Government under the Chief Ministership of Narendra Modi. To quote only a few:
    a) TATA’s NANO factory and its related projects were given a huge sum of Rs. 9,570 crores as subsidy over against an investment of Rs. 2,900 crores. That too at a paltry interest rate of 0.1 percent, payable only after twenty years in instalments. Land was provided at a throw-away price, and the stamp duty, registration and electricity expenses are being borne by the Government.
    b) ADANI Group has been given the contract of power supply for 25 years, which has brought a huge expense of Rs. 23,625 crores on the government exchequer.
    c) RELIANCE Industries, ESSAR STEEL and other companies have been given huge concessions and profits through illegal means; that is why the entire CorporateWorldisgoinggagaatthevictoryofModi.Nowtheycanexpecta rich harvest nationally on similar lines or promoting progress of corporate sector.
    The price paid by the people for so-called Gujarat’s Industrial Progress is to be seen in the Environmental degradation and pollution it has caused.
    • The Central Pollution Control Board of India declared Gujarat to be the most polluted state in 2010
    • Due to critical levels of pollution, the central government’s Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2010 banned all new projects and expansion of existing ones in the industrial cluster of Vapi in Southern Gujarat
    • The Central Pollution Control Board in 2012 declared three Gujarat rivers to be the most polluted in India.

  2. Bishops extend support to Modi
    The Catholic bishops’ body extended its greetings to Modi on the eve of his taking over as the prime minister of India. Posted on May 25, 2014, 10:05 PM
    New Delhi: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has assured prime minister-designate Narendra Modi of its “wholehearted support in his efforts to lead the nation towards new heights of peace, prosperity and harmony.”
    The top body of Indian bishops expressed this in a press release, extending “warm and cordial greetings” to Modi on the eve of his taking over as the prime minister of India.
    The CBCI expressed hopes that the resounding victory in the general elections concluded a week ago should enthuse the National Democratic Alliance to work relentlessly for the
    welfare and progress of all people, especially the poor and the marginalized.

    Bishops hope new government will uphold secularism
    The Catholic body advised Congress party to learn from experience.
    Posted on May 20, 2014, 8:15 AM
    Thiruvananthapuram: The top body of Catholic bishops in India has congratulated National Democratic Alliance, led by BJP, on its thumping win in the general elections, hoping that the new government will uphold eternal values and secularism in making India a great nation.
    “Let the new government led by BJP enable the India of Mahatma Gandhi stand tall among the world nations ensuring protection, security, welfare and sustained development of the people of all sections,” Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said in a statement. He hoped that the new government will continue to uphold the eternal values, secularism and principles of democracy to lead the nation on the path of development.

    Reaffirming the Catholic Church’s support to the government’s activities in the process of nation building, he said that the new Government has the responsibility to ensure the security of the minorities and to show special consideration towards the weaker sections of the country.
    The Catholic body advised Congress party to learn from experience and perform as a creative force in the opposition knowing the pulse of the public. Source: press statement .

    Christians to join Modi for a just India: official
    Christians are also called to facilitate inclusive communities.
    Posted on May 22, 2014, 3:20 PM
    New Delhi:Christian community will participate in the efforts of India’s new government to build a nation of justice and progress, said the general secretary of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI).
    The results of the election declared on May 19, in which the pro-Hindu BJP won by a landslide, show the desire of the majority of the people for a corruption-free and responsible government, said Reverend Roger Gaikwad in a statement.
    The official of the influential NCCI, which is an ecumenical forum of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches in the country, said elections constitute the kairos (the critical decisive time) for the Church in India to be bearers of the liberating message of the gospel in the country. “We are to stand for just-peace, and should support all policies, endeavors and projects of the government within this ‘just-peace’ framework,” he said.
    Christians are also called to facilitate inclusive communities in which women, youth, children, dalits, tribals-adivasis, the disabled, and all other marginalized individuals and communities find dignified space and participation.
    In participating with government the Church will stand committed to eradication of the evils of the caste system, patriarchy, globalization, nuclearization, militarization, fundamentalism and communalism.
    “We have to be critical of any development which caters to the comforts and pleasures of the few but oppresses the majority of humans and exploits mother earth,” said the statement published in the NCCI site.
    As a Church, Christians are called to “participate in the development of an India of justice, progress and integral harmony,” Reverend Gaikwad said. Source: http://www.nccindia.in

  3. Fr.Tomy Kuruvilla

    HOLD ON PLEASE FOR A WHILE.

    Lay leaders hold your views, Church Leaders hold on to your view please. Narendra Modi has just started functioning…………so a premature verdict on his performance is unwarranted. Wait in patience and give him some time-period to perform. Definitely he is far better than any one of us on that chair.

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