Sunday, June 13, 2021
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Respect all religions

Ever since the NDA government has come to power, Christians are being targeted and nuns are being molested and raped. The government should be aware that today they are ruling the nation because minority communities (Christians and Muslims) had voted for them. Just because we Christians are peace-loving people and do not retaliate, it does not mean that the government can take us for granted. Churches are being desecrated and burnt and the police are doing nothing to prevent these incidents, nor are they taking any action with those involved in these dastardly acts. Christians are being defamed in the name of ‘Ghar Wapsi’ (Home Coming) and Muslims in the name of ‘Love Jihaad’. This was the reason why the lotus (India’s national flower) was cleaned by the broom by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi a few months ago.

If communalism continues to take place India will never achieve prosperity. When BJP government was in power from 1998 to 2004, Christians were being persecuted, churches vandalised and burnt and nuns were molested and raped. In Kandhamal District of Odisha, the situation is still worse and our Prime Minister is doing nothing to curb these incidents. Christians here are still living in fear of the Hindu right-wingers who are harassing them almost everyday by torching their houses and not allowing them to pray. Even the priests and nuns in Kandhamal (Odisha) are living in fear and have to pray and celebrate the Mass in secret places. Whenever there was violence on Christians, raping of nuns, killing of innocent people, desecrating and torching of churches, Christians never in return killed the people who were doing this; instead, by following the example of Jesus Christ, they forgave them. We as Indians should condemn such vandalism taking place whether it happens in temples, churches, gurudwaras or mosques. No place of worship should be targeted and destroyed; instead, every religion in our country should be respected.

The Catholic-Christian community in India does not indulge in terrorism, anti-national activities, smuggling, cheating and corruption, arson looting, rioting, communal and fundamentalist activities, criminal activities, encroaching government lands to create slums, female foeticide/infanticide. They marry at a late age and are content with one or two children. They are extremely secular and work with honesty and dedication. But in spite of being very peaceful and law-abiding citizens, they face religious discrimination and persecution. It is very shameful on the part of the Indian government to treat Christians like this. When Narendra Modi broke his silence and spoke in favour of religious harmony and tolerance at a church function, everyone especially the Christian community heaved a sigh of relief. However the situation has not changed in any way.

Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India is said to have left a will to his son Humayun which is still preserved in the State Museum of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. The contents of the will are that Babur informs his son Humayan that India is the home of many religions and he has to be respectful and impartial towards all of them and ought not to burn, destroy, desecrate or disturb any shrine of any religious order. But what is happening today? Churches are being burnt, destroyed, demolished and desecrated by some fanatic Hindu right-wingers.

Our present-day politicians do not care for the people and they have no respect for the common man, especially the minority communities. In the name of religion, they destroy religious structures and kill people belonging to the Christian religion. Christians in India are being persecuted a lot. Our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi should know that Christians in spite of being numerically a small minority community, has contributed a lot to the nation. And they still do it.

I quote what our freedom fighter, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan has said: “My religion is truth, love and service to God and humanity. Every religion that has come into the world has brought the message of love and brotherhood. Those who are indifferent to the welfare of their fellowmen, whose hearts are empty of love, they do not know the meaning of religion.”

Jubel D’Cruz

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