By Special Correspondent
Mangalore & Panaji: Minorities will feel safe if the BJP-led Union government acts against targeted hate, and violence, says 102 year old All India Catholic Union Catholic Union on Friday. It also underlines that state impunity, police complicity, and bigoted laws have weaponized the Hindutva extremist groups in the country that led to the surge in communalism.
Releasing the statement to the media, noted journalist and former president and spokesperson of the Catholic Union, Dr John Dayal said it has been a traumatic year for the world with the global Covid pandemic continuing for the second year with a devastating impact on India this summer.
“But if anything is worse than the tragic consequences of the Covid pandemic, it is the surge in communalism, abetted by politicians who have helped weaponized bigotry and hate speech targeting religious minorities, including Christians” and often, this has led to violence.
“We are alarmed at the open call of genocide of Muslims and elimination of the Christian faith made at mass gatherings in north and central India. Police have been complicit, said Dr Dayal.
He pointed out that it is a matter of national shame that even on Christmas Day, as many as 16 incidents of violence took place in churches, congregations, institutions and even on celebrations.
“The sight of a broken statue of Jesus Christ in the compound of a church observing His birthday, shocked not just the community, but all peace-loving people of the country,” he added.
Data keepers have documented over 500 cases of violence on the Christian community this year, the highest since the Odisha pogrom of 2008.
The noted journalist alleged that the state has failed to act against the perpetrators. This may be so perhaps because among them are ministers, legislators, party leaders and high-profile members of right-wing hyper nationalist militant groups.
In this environment of hate, governments have added to our pain. Karnataka assembly has passed an anti-conversion law which is the harshest ever enacted by any state in the country. It criminalizes inter faith marriages and almost entirely robs many classes of people, specially Dalits and Adivasis, of their freedom of faith.
The last act of assault on the Christian community has been by the Union government which has not renewed the FCRA of the3 Missionaries of Charity community founded by Mother Teresa, Bharat Ratna, Nobel Laureate, and a Catholic Saint, said the Christian leader.
It is ironic that this is done soon after our prime minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, called on the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in Rome and invited him to visit India, an act the Christian community welcomed wholeheartedly.
We call on the Union government to restore the FRCA of the Missionaries of Charity, and of other Christian and civil NGOs whose work with the poorest of the poor has been severely impacted by the punitive measures taken by the Ministry of home affairs canceling their FCRA registrations, demands the Christian Union.
We cherish India’s history of communal harmony and great fundamental rights including the freedom to profess, practice and propagate our religion. Future years, we hope, will see harmony becoming stronger and giving a befitting challenge to forces and elements that seek to harm religious minorities, Dalits and Adivasis, it adds.
The AICU was deeply concerned at the deleterious impact of the farm laws passed by the Union government. The Christian community is part of the farm sector in most states, with many of them small and marginal farmers.