By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ
A very effective strategy of fascists and dictators from time immemorial is to denigrate, demonize, divide and destroy the other!
This is particularly true where the ‘other’ are those who dissent , those who do selfless work which they are unable to do or simply those they are unable to deal with!
The past few weeks in India have seen several examples of how these fascists have been using every possible deed from their violent and dirty bag of tricks to terrorise minorities of the country!
The Christians of India have always been a ‘soft target’ ; in their ascent to power since the late 1990s the BJP and their ilk in the Sangh Parivar- have systematically targeted the community in different ways and all over the country.
The ‘bogey’ of forced conversion, the desecration of sacred objects, the attacks on Christians and their places of worship and institutions, the myriad threats, intimidation and harassments, the spreading of canard- are all part of a wider game plan to polarize the majority community and put Christians in bad light!
This past month – particularly, the days before and on Christmas day- have seen a surge of this orchestrated campaign against the Christians in several parts of the country and very specially in states ruled by the BJP.
The Missionaries of Charity(MCs- the Sisters and Brothers Congregations founded by Mother Teresa) are high – up at the receiving end of this viciousness and vilification!
Mother Teresa and her legacy which is continued selflessly today – embody the highest of Christian Charity- reaching out to the dying destitute, the poorest of the poor, the orphan and widow, the unloved and rejected , the lost, the lonely, the last and least – irrespective of one’s religious belief!
False cases are now foisted on the Sisters like that of ‘conversion’; besides,latest reports say that the Foreign Accounts of the MCs have also been frozen.
Very sad indeed!
The MCs care for thousands of the rejected of India: day-in and day- out without counting the cost. Stopping the flow of funds to the MCs, in simple terms, means depriving the poorest of the poor in India- humans whom no one cares for- the basic humanitarian need of shelter and food- not to mention the acceptance, warmth and love which they desperately need and which the Sisters and Brothers give them so ungrudgingly.
The Government must reconsider this terrible decision and restore the good name and work of the MCs; if there are any laxities or shortcomings the MCs must be helped to rectify/ address them; and above all, to ensure that those who are cared for in the MC institutions are not deprived of this basic humanitarian assistance!
The good work of the MCs is there for all to see!
Women and men from all walks of life- need to come out in the open – visibly and vocally to stop what is happening to the MCs!
Finally, in adherence to the Constitution of India- every form of denigration and demonization of the Christians in India must stop immediately and unconditionally and those responsible for these heinous crimes must be brought to book without further delay!