Skip to main content

Mumbai Christians suspect builder-official nexus, to protest proposed demolition of Heritage Cross,Graveyard

Poster calling for protest
By Our Representative
Two Christian NGOs, Save Our Land (SOUL) and Watchdog Foundation, have decided to stage a strong protest in Mumbai against Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC's) “decision” to demolish the historic 450 years old Heritage Cross and the Graveyard of the Heritage Church of Our Lady of Remedy in West Kandivali.
SOUL suspects, the decision to demolish these historic structures has come about as many builders are finding it “difficult to remove the religious structures on the road/footpath, including to the Holy Crosses”, the communique says, they are now conniving with officials of the BMC “for the removal of such religious structures.”
“Our Lady of Remedy Church is not an exception to this unholy nexus. There is a 32 storey tower very close to the church and there are no flat purchasers for the building and the building is lying mostly vacant due to narrow passage, which leads to the building. Therefore, it is clear at whose instance the local officials are acting to widen the SV Road in front the church”, the NGO says.
The demonstration has been proposed for May 22, 2016, at 10.30 am outside the Our Lady of Remedy Church, opposite Poinsur Depot, SV Road. 
The church was built in 1550, with Our Lady of Remedy High School is one of the oldest schools in Kandivali West, having been established in 1926.
Alleging that the BMC “is hell bent on trampling the rights of thein the state, which are guaranteed under the Constitution of India”, the NGO communique says, on February 23, 2016, a chawl on the church’s property was demolished. And on April 21, 2016, the sub-engineer of the corporation came with officers and threatened the church employees.
Contending that the “heritage church has a heritage cemetery”, it says, “There is a religious sentiment as far as the dead are concerned in the graves and the bodies are semi-decomposed and desecrating and opening them on the intended road will disturb the religious sentiments of the families of the deceased and can give rise to law and order problem.”
“There are at the moment approximately 100 graves. If the unwarranted demolition is carried out the Church stands to lose almost 50 percent of the graves, which will leave hardly any burial place for the parishioners of the Church”, it says.
According to SOUL spokesperson Dolphy A. D'souza , “In spite of several agitations and protests in the past, the BMC has not been able to allot land and construct a cemetery for the last 15 years on the western express highway for the Christian community that numbers almost 3 lakhs.”
“Time and again”, he says, the corporation has “made promises but nothing concrete has happened. Hence the Christian community has to transport their beloved deceased members as far as Sewri / Sion/ Oshiwara for burial purposes, putting them to tremendous hardships and expense while they are grieving for their departed.”
Insisting that the Church has been included in the proposed heritage Category II A List published by the BMC, the communique says, the Church, along with the Holy Cross, would “qualify to fall under the definition of ‘ancient monuments’ as defined in Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 and thus need to be preserved and protected.”
“As per the Development Control Regulations for Greater Mumbai, 1995, particularly, the Heritage Regulations for Greater Bombay, 1995 framed under Regulation No.67, lists some of the Churches in Grade II A of the Heritage Regulation and contribute to the image and identity of the City”, it adds.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Dalits rights meet planned on how citizenship law 'negates' Ambedkar's equality focus

By Our Representative
A Dalit rights meet has been planned at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), Sanand, Ahmedabad district, to discuss implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament on December 10-11, for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Announcing the decision, DSK director Martin Macwan said, the meet would take place on December 25, 2019, at 11.00 am, to commemorate the anniversary of burning of copies of Manusmriti by Dr BR Ambedkar.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

'Allow critical thinking': SAARC-sponsored varsity teachers support protesting students

By Our Representative
Teachers of the high-profile South Asian University (SAU), a New Delhi-based international institute sponsored by eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – have supported “peacefully protesting students and other citizens” against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.