Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hindunization of Naga Politics: Not to be Tolerated

The Christians in India are children of Ram,” declared Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries. She, a BJP MP of Fatehpur (UP) adopted deceptive tactics in her attempt to misinterpret the identity of non-Hindus including Nagas who belong to the Mongolian race and have nothing to do with Ram historically, culturally or in any other ways. The question of the so-called Ghar Wapsi or “homecoming” conversion melas does not arise in the case of Nagas, including Gaidinliu’s Haraka or the Hindus of Manipur. Her statement is aimed at reviving the unsound idealism of the four varnas of her party’s One Book, One Religion, One Language and One Culture. The polemical attempt to promote the RSS brand of Hinduism through BJP party politics and vice versa is unfair, unacceptable and dangerous.  It is also irrational and obscurantist.

The proposal of renaming Dimapur Airport after Rani Gaidinliu by a BJP MP from Odisha in last Parliament Session seems to be a move in the same direction. The BJP with its outfits such as RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal has been making all sorts of forceful attempts to abolish the secular credentials of India down the ages. It has partially succeeded with Modi at the helm in New Delhi but a culturally and religiously worked out Hindutva monolith cannot last. India will pay a very heavy price for the attempt BJP seems set to make.

It is difficult to understand as to why some Naga politicians talk of honourable political settlement on one hand and advocate BJP rule in Nagaland on the other as not satisfied with the NDA alliance of which BJP happens to be the biggest partner.  We must look into why the Hindu Rastra had to be ruled by Moghuls, British and then the Dynasty for over 800 years. Hinduism with its much hated, notorious track record of caste is horrible and a curse for India. A case in point is the snobbery of high caste towards Dalits who are fellow human beings. The insanity does not go together with nationalism as darkness does not go with light. The severe social drawbacks produced by the Caste System explain why 665 million poor Indians cannot afford lavatories and are compelled to defecate in the open. India is known for the abject poverty, ignorance, and disease-breeding unhygienic living conditions of her poor people.  More often than not, despised and segregated randomly by other civilised countries since hundreds of years of slavery, till today. Mahatma Gandhi was against the evils of the Caste System and he tragically ended up being its victim. A BJP MP’s glorification of his assassin Nathuram Godse is an ugly reflection of the philosophy and doctrine of life advocated by BJP, RSS, VHP or Bajrang Dal.

 We must see where the position of the Nagas would be in the future Hindu Rastra BJP is clearly committed to bring about. A Brahmin tailor was doing alteration of my trousers thinking that I was from Japan. But when I told him of my Naga identity, he threw my trousers out into the street in Pune in 1982. I took the case to the Police then District Court of Pune. Several RSS youth constantly threatened me with dire consequences. They broke most of my window panes at Symbiosis International Hostel, trying to force me to withdraw the case, compelling me to arm myself with an iron rod concealed in a leather cover and a helmet to be ready to accept their wild challenge to fight them physically. The threat went on for about eight months till. The Court case went well, justice was delivered as there was secular character in the country backed by a strong political will of the Government in Delhi. As such caste and other discriminations could be effectively challenged at that point of time. I also received the strong support of several members of the Naga –Maharastrian Association.  
 The real challenge of caste discriminations, homecoming conversion and Hinduization of politics may come when BJP will get absolute majority in the the Rajya Sabha in 2016. It will be a crisis as well as an opportunity to purify us Christians to grow deeper in truth, spirituality, love, unselfishness and holiness. The different BJP and Hindutva outfits committed to extremism may not burn us to death as was done to Graham Staines and his two sons in mainland India because the extremists did not like the anti – leprosy Christian mission of mercy the Staines were serving. But they will try to distort our origin, our unique political history and our priceless Christian identity by the excessive use of money for inducement, manipulation of power and unscrupulous interpretation of history and culture to achieve their mission. However these oppressive measures that resurgent RSS brand of Hinduism has started to launch to reconvert we may see they will not be able to weaken the Christianity, rather it will help Christians move forward ever stronger instead. The outfits of BJP or the BJPs are not our enemy, they are our good neighbours, we must love them dearly. We ourselves are our own worst enemy; our downfall lies in our own immoral ways of doing things to solve our problems. This has resulted in random corruption, short-cut methods to achieve power and abuse of power. We need not be terrified by what they may do to fulfil their plans, if our lives demonstrate integrity and character worthy of respect. The time of decision for our stand as Christians is now; choose for yourselves this day who you will serve, as for me and my household we will serve the Lord by obeying Him. Joshua 24:15.

Kuolachalie Seyie,
Hidden Forests, IG Stadium,
Kohima Nagaland

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Press Release - Catholic Bishops Conference of India

Government urged to uphold the Secular nature of India

New Delhi: January 21, 2015

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India urged the Government to uphold the Secular nature of India. A Special Consultation was organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India at the CBCI Centre, New Delhi, on Monday, January 20, 2015.

The Constitution of India guarantees that all the citizens of our country can profess, practice and propagate a religion of one’s choice. India is a land where different religious faiths have long since flourished and our founding fathers made special efforts to ensure that the rights of all are safeguarded, irrespective of our religious beliefs, gender or caste. Christianity has its roots in Indian soil for more than 2000 years. The Christians of India believe in God and believe in the goodness of people and have been selflessly serving the people of this country in the fields of education, health care, etc. without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed or religion.

The unfortunate incidents that happened in the past few months in various parts of our country have hurt the sentiments of the Christian community and has shaken the faith in the secular fabric of our Nation. The shocking incidents that have taken place against Churches, clergy and laity in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have caused great concern for the Christian community. The recent controversies in the name of religious reconversions portray a negative image about India. Communal polarization and the bid to homogenize India are posing threat to all minorities – women, dalits, and all linguistic, cultural and religious minorities.

The Ghar Wapsi programmes, the saffranisation of education and culture, and the demands for a Hindu Rashtra are again posing challenges to the secular ethos of our beloved country. Conversions of a religious nature are an exercise of one’s free will and one’s constitutional/fundamental rights and freedom of conscience and of religion. Ghar Wapsi is a political process, carried out by the powerful exponents of religious nationalism – much against the principle of Secularism. It does not even have the legitimacy of freedom of political expression.

The Christians of this country need assurance from the Government that we are protected and secure and safe in our motherland. We express our strong concern on the aforementioned issues. Putting an end to such dangerous tendencies is inevitable for the growth and progress of our great nation. This great secular nation has to remain as a place where people of all religions and of different cultural backgrounds should live freely, practicing their faith without fear or threat and in harmony.  While we recommit ourselves for the progress and development of our nation, we strongly urge the Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to urgently intervene and take appropriate action to stop incidents that pose big threat to the unity of this secular nation.

The CBCI Special Consultation was presided over by the CBCI President, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Catholicos and attended by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Cardinal George Alencherry, the CBCI Office-Bearers, representatives of Conference of Religious, India (CRI), Catholic Council of India (CCI), All India Catholic Union (AICU), Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM), Legal experts, Human Rights and Social activists, CBCI Core Team and Secretaries.

Fr. Joseph Chinnayyan,

Deputy Secretary General &

Spokesperson, CBCI

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Christian groups allege forced conversions in Bathinda

BATHINDA: Christian organizations have taken a strong note of forcible attempts of conversions of their community members into Hindu fold. They have asked the Union and state government to look into such misadventure against the minorities and stop Hindu groups from forcing minorities to convert.

Nearly 50 pastors, representatives of United Christian Welfare Association (UCWA), Pastor Fellowship Association and Punjab Christian Movement assembled in Bathinda on Saturday and denounced the efforts of conversions in the name of 'ghar wapsi' by some Hindu outfits.

Christian representatives termed 'ghar wapsi' as a planned attack on the minorities. They alleged the Christian missionaries were being stopped from spreading their religion whereas preachers of other religions were indulging in such activities openly.

UCWA president George C Masih said, "We have never taken any such step which could be termed as anti-national. We are being seen as anti-national and allegations are levelled against us that we lure people to convert to Christianity, which is vague."

VHP'S Bathinda unit claims Sran expelled:

Division came to fore in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Bathinda. Some VHP leaders of Bathinda assembled on Saturday and asserted that Sukhpal Sran, who claims to be state secretary of the organization, had been expelled. VHP Bathinda chief Sham Lal said Sran was not the state secretary as he had been expelled for not taking them into confidence for 'ghar wapsi (homecoming) programme, which proved to be a failure.

On the other hand, Sran claimed he was still the VHP state secretary and the district unit has no right to remove him. When contacted, VHP national secretary Khem Chand said, "Sran has not been expelled. The district unit has no right to remove a state office-bearer of VHP. Bathinda unit should restrain from indulging in such debate."

Click here for source

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Crib in an Outer Delhi Church found burnt

A crib kept inside the premises of a church in Outer Delhi caught fire on Saturday morning. After conducting preliminary inquiry, the local police are calling it a case of fire caused due to short-circuit and have ruled out foul play.

The incident took place around 8 a.m in Outer Delhi's Rohini on Saturday. The church officials gave a call to the police on finding out that the crib was burnt. The police team that reached the spot took up investigation.

"Prime facie, it appears that the crib caught fire due to a short-circuit as a decorative wire was around it. There is remote possibility of anyone setting the crib on fire because if that was the case, more things would have been set on fire. The church wall is just 4 feet tall and a person can easily jump in if he wants" said a senior police officer.

However we are investigating the case from all possible angles, the officer added.
Meanwhile, Church officials could not be reached for a comment. 

Click here for source

VHP reconversions in Punjab a flop show

BATHINDA: Vishwa Hindu Parishad's much-hyped "ghar wapsi" function at Bathinda, aimed at bringing back Christians to the Hindu and Sikh fold, was a non-starter. With no member of the community turning up for the proposed conversions on Friday, the Hindu organisation put off the homecoming ceremony indefinitely.

The 'ghar wapsi' was on Thursday deferred by a day. The Hindu organization had been making efforts for the last many days for re-conversion of nearly 100 families.

"With only two families turning up for 'ghar wapsi', we have decided to defer it for an indefinite period. We are taking up the matter with our senior leadership, including central leader Khem Chand, for a new date," said VHP state secretary Sukhpal Sran. He alleged that the Akali leaders had asked the administration and police to foil conversion attempts due to strained SAD-BJP ties.

Sources said VHP activists made efforts to prevail upon some Christian families from Jangirana, Gobindpura, Raike and Naruana villages and Rampura Phul town, but none of them turned up. VHP also tried to rope in four pastors to convert Christians to Hinduism and Sikhism.

United Christian Welfare Front president George Masih alleged, "They are targeting not only Christians but Muslims also. A couple of Christian families had contacted me saying that they were being asked to convert but they had refused to do so." George said religious bodies must avoid the misadventure of forced conversions, and if someone wanted to embrace another faith, they had no objection to it.

Punjab cabinet minister Sikandar Singh Maluka denied that SAD-BJP ties had come in the way of conversions in Bathinda. He said, "There was no pressure against any family to convert or vice versa."

Bathinda senior superintendent of police Inder Mohan Singh said, "Police had no role in the conversion ceremony. We didn't put pressure on anyone to convert or not."

Click here for source