Sunday, September 14, 2008

Orissa continues to simmer

Orissa continues to simmer under communal tension as physical violence against Christians refuses to die down. In 2 separate incidents in Kurttamgarh, which is 25 kilometers from Baliguda and 7 kilometers from the Ashram of Swami Laxmananada Saraswati in Jalaspeta, 40 houses and 5 Churches were reportedly burnt down by a mob.

Yesterday i.e. September 12 saw the destruction and burning of 1 church and 1 Mission Hostel in Mangapanga, Tumulibandh, 3 churches in Mundabali, Badipankha, and 1 church in Baringia in Phulbani. An estimated 40 houses were also torched by the attackers.

Today i.e. September 13, around 4 pm an angry mob again struck the area of Kruttamgarh and burnt a CNI church and several houses including the house of a Christian Sarpanch. The CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) saw the mob and fired in the air to disperse them but to their surprise the mob fired back with guns at the CRPF and injured 2 jawans, of whom one is quite serious and has been sent to Behrampur for treatment.

The CRPF retaliated and in their firing, 2 people are believed to have been killed and around 20 have been injured.

Later in the evening at around 10:40 pm, Naxals striked at 2 villages near Raikia and according to unconfirmed reports have completely destroyed the villages. The Church authorities have been informed by the police to be ready for another backlash which could be as serious as the violence that erupted right after Laxmananda’s death or could be even worse.


In the midst of all of this, a few days ago, the Orissa administration let Ashok Singhal the controversial VHP leader visit the area. The recent happenings are believed to be a result of the propaganda carried out by the VHP via Ashok Singhal. He reportedly made demands that included the release of the rioters arrested by the police since the violence started against Christians.

Another thing that has come to light from the recent incident is the use of firearms by the Hindutva militia on the CRPF. The media of India especially the vernacular media has been quick to label any minority with the terrorist tag whenever an incident happens and indicates minority involvement.

But the Hindutva brigade has been excused so far. So you can have a Muslim terrorist, a Sikh terrorist, a Christian insurgent or Militant (recently used term) but so far the media has never used the word Hindutva militant for miscreants who kill in the name of religion and now are even attacking state forces. This is where all the Trishul Dikshas and arms trainings will bring the nation to. It seems that these things are not used for self defense as the RSS claims but for genocide.

While majority of Hindus are peace loving people, it is the RSS and its affiliates with their fascist ideology who should be controlled and it is up to the administration, governance and the media to exercise their power for the above purpose.