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We must respect all faiths

Christians in India have frequently become victims of violent attacks, and these incidents have increased dramatically ever since Modi government came into power in May 2014. Prayer meetings are often raided and Christians pastors/priests and believers beaten; many rural Christians have also been expelled from their villages and refused access to the village well and pastureland; and others have been forced to convert to Hinduism, often with violence. The Catholic-Christian community in India does not indulge in terrorism, anti-national activities, smuggling, cheating, corruption, arson looting, rioting, communal and fundamentalist activities, criminal activities, encroaching government lands to create slums and female foeticide/infanticide. 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 by some people of the majority community.

Just because we Christians are peace-loving people and do not retaliate, it does not mean that the government can take an upper hand of us. Christians are also being defamed in the name of ‘Ghar Wapsi’ (Home Coming) and Muslims in the name of ‘Love Jihaad’. India will never achieve prosperity with all this communalism taking place. Even before when the BJP government was in power with Atal Behari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister, Christians were being persecuted, churches vandalised and burnt and nuns molested and raped. When Narendra Modi broke his silence and spoke in favour of religious harmony and tolerance at a church function, everyone sighed with relief.

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 Humayun that India is the homeland 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. 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 and Muslim religions. Our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi should know that Christians in spite of being numerically a small minority community, has contributed a lot to the nation.

I quote what 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.” In the West, people pay their taxes to the government, who in turn, takes good care of them in their old age. This is not the case in India. Here the middle-class people, who are the backbone of economy, are taxed heavily throughout their working lives and are forgotten completely after retirement. The government does not come to their rescue even when they turn old or have no one to take care of them in their old age. The promises made by Narendra Modi at the time of elections seem to be completely forgotten. Empty promises, weren’t they?


Jubel D’Cruz

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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